Providing Comfort after the Storm

Super Storm Sandy devastated the lives of thousands of people along the Eastern Seaboard.  The Far Rockaway section of New York was one area most affected by the ravaging wind and high tides that Sandy produced.  Homes were destroyed.  Lives were broken.  Yet, in the midst of this time of darkness and despair, MONA, in partnership with members of the Bourne extended family, were able to provide hope, love, and relief to the Reyes family, a single mother and her five children.


Before December 23, 2012, the two families had never met.   It was at the 96th birthday celebration of the Bourne Family’s matriarch, Hyacinth Bourne that the family decided that they wanted to reach out to a family affected by Sandy to provide some type of relief during the holiday season. Lyra Petrie, (a MONA member and a member of the Bourne family) became aware of the Reyes family through the United Methodist Center food pantry and soup kitchen.   Once a family was identified, the Bourne’s kicked into high gear.  Various members of the family donated funds to purchase gifts for the children and for the mother.  MONA committed to match, dollar for dollar, all funds that were raised by the family.  Through the efforts of the Bourne’s and MONA, $1,350 was raised for the Reyes family.


On December 23, 2012, the Reyes family was invited to Brooklyn to the home of Hyacinth Bourne, where various members of the Bourne family and members of MONA greeted Ms. Reyes and her children and lavished them with love.   With holiday music blaring in the background and the sounds of laughter and cheer filling the home, the two families, previously strangers, shared a special time watching the joy on the children’s faces as they opened their presents.

Finally, it was time to say goodbye.  The children reluctantly packed up their newly acquired toys and presents and put on their coats as they whispered to their mother that they did not want to leave.   In a short time, both families had impacted each other in an amazing away. And MONA was pleased to play a role.


The Reyes family

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the Reyes family