Monday, December 10, 2012

The Angel of Staten Island

Happy Tuesday...

As always, I like to introduce you to people who have made a strong impact on me and others.
Patricia Madsen came into my life many years ago and I am proud to call her a good friend. She has been an Angel for Staten Island and its residents, I will let her tell you her story....

Written from Patricia Madsen herself.

Two yrs ago I did a relief fund for Alabama when the tornado's hit there.We sent over 4 18 wheeler tractor trailers full of supplies and goods to them!! Two yrs ago my daughters were 2 and 3.
When Hurricane Sandy hit, my daughter Andrea (who is now 5) was sitting on the couch with us watching the news. She looked over at me and said "Mommy what are we going to do?" I looked at her in a state of shock... and said "Mommy is working on something, don't worry baby girl!" Although I had nothing planned I could not disappoint my baby girls!!!! So like a crazy person, I didn't sleep for two days straight, just thinking about what we could do. And I finally came up with an idea. Before I said anything to my husband, I sat down with Andrea and Kelly and told them I came up with an idea. They were so excited. I asked them "baby girls would you like to cook thanksgiving dinner and bring it to Staten Island?" Andrea said "And we can serve them and help them out, the people who got hurt by Sandy?" I said with tears in my eyes "yes baby girl!" I called Pj (my husband) and told him what I had come up with and he said "lets do it, Im ready" Who knew doing the relief fund two years ago would put such an impact on her life. They were so excited. So I had to live up to their expections.
I got their schools involved and friends family and neighbors, even friends from out of state!! I was able to send over an 18 wheeler tractor trailer filled to the max in two weeks!!!! I was able to get in contact with an awesome guy named Jean in Staten Island who lost everything himself, but chose to take care of his community by setting up a relief center. He had it open 24/7. he was there sleeping in a tent taking care of everyone else but himself.
Two days before we left for our first trip out to Staten Island I started cooking, and cooking, and cooking. I cooked 400 lbs of food by myself with just my girls and a very good friend, Carol who doesn't cook but she stayed by my side doing whatever she could do. We went out to Staten Island with 500 lbs of food the day before Thanksgiving and served the community from 11 am till 10 pm.
We cried our eyes out when we got there, and we cried our eyes when we left. The devastation is unbelievable. And I knew I just couldn't stop there. When I set my mind to something I go all the way!!! So I told my girls and PJ and Jean that I would be back, I'm not going to forget about them.
There were people there that touched my heart like you couldn't even imagine. We have gone out every weekend helping and volunteering. Last week we meet two families that have broke our hearts, and we knew we had to dedicate a lot of our time to them.
One family has 4 children, a husband and wife. Fran is such an amazing person, she touched our hearts tremendously. We have been cooking for her family for the last two weeks. I make sure I cook enough to last them a whole week. Until we come back.
Fran had told Carol and I that she doesnt even have any money to get her daughter (who is 13) a Xmas tree. We took her to the relief center that we were volunteering at and she got so much stuff. This past weekend we went to Staten Island on a Mission bigger than just cooking. I cooked tons of food for her family brought her tons of donations. Pj said "No child should be without a christmas tree" He bought her a Christmas tree, lights and decorations. We knocked on her door and the girls gave her the tree! Just the smile on her face was worth everything!! She was so happy to have received the tree, she started tearing up. She gave me the biggest hug a little girl could give. Her father was crying, which in turn made us all cry. Her son looked at me and said "It's because of people like you who make us get up everyday with a smile on our face, if it wasn't for you guys we would have given up already!" That broke my heart and made me cry even more!!
After we left them we went to our other friend Steve. Who lost EVERYTHING!!! When Sandy hit he went into his crawl space in the attic with his wife 85lb dog and 7 cats, and rode the storm out up there. He brought a bottle of 151 rum just in case they were going to drown. He was going to give his wife a drink so she would go to sleep and not experience the travesty of drowning!! We brought him trays and trays of food. A propane stove, a heater so he could stay warm, cleaning supplies and masks. He was so great ful for everything. He walked me through what was left of his house. It was the most horrible sight I have ever seen in my life. The smell was horrible. But he has the most amazing outlook on life. He is very cheerful and has his American flag hanging from the front of his house.
We walk up and down the streets, and see homes knocked off of their foundations, homes destroyed from the bottom up. Children's toys crushed. You can see through peoples houses, their kitchens with no walls. Kids bedrooms just demolished and left with nothing in them. Toothbrushes on the floor in the mud, peoples family pictures. Their lives in piles of rumble, being put into dumpsters.
People like that break my heart and make me do this. I do this because not only do I care about people, but I am doing this because I am teaching my girls what being a great person is. If I want my girls to change the world it has to start with PJ and I!!!

If you would like to donate, let me know and I will put you in contact with The Angel of StatenIsland.
The relief Center that she is working with is located at  626 midland ave Staten Island NY 10306
If your local in the area, she is looking for Christmas Toys to bring the children of Staten Island.

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