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To Brooklyn, With Love: Hurricane Care Packages

Blue Rock School sixth graders and their care packages

by Beth Norman

Instead of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade last Thursday morning, 11 year old Mae Woods of Yonkers traveled with her parents to the Breezy Point Fire Station in Brooklyn to hand deliver 55 care packages prepared for the children of that area hit particularly hard by the recent hurricane.

Days before, Mae, along with her  6th grade classmates and other students from Blue Rock School in West Nyack, had thoughtfully filled shoe boxes with toiletries, books, games, stuffed animals, mittens, hats, scarves and comforting messages of hope, and then lovingly decorated the boxes in hopes of raising the spirits of the children of the Brooklyn neighborhood so devastated not only by Hurricane Sandy, but also by the massive fire that erupted as a result of the storm and incinerated 111 homes.

‘€œIt felt really good to know that we were helping someone in need, and maybe brightening their day a little,’€ said 10 year old Gabrielle Belfessa of Nyack who also added a few choice pieces of her own Halloween candy to her box.

The intended recipients reportedly just returned to school in Breezy Point on Nov 26 and are still going to the local fire station with their families for meals, according to Mae’s mother Ann Woods, who initiated the relief effort. ‘€œI think it was good for Mae to see what these poor people have had to endure. It was a very heartwarming experience to deliver the packages. I just wish the other students at Blue Rock School who poured their hearts into the preparation of the boxes had been able to be there as well.’€

Beth Norman is Director of Development & Marketing at Blue Rock School, a  progressive, independent day school serving students in kindergarten through 8th grade, located in West Nyack, NY.  The school was founded in 1987 with the purpose of providing a rich educational experience based on a child-centered and hands-on approach that nurtures children’s innate love of learning, enables them to follow their own natural curiosity, develop as independent thinkers and grow in a dynamic learning community.  For more information call 845-627-0234 or visit

Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.

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