December 23rd, 1995 I was called out to an
apartment fire, 8 families had lost there homes. Some were lucky enough
to only have smoke and water damage. One was totally destroyed, they even
lost the family dog. To make matters worse there was no insurance or money
to replace the children's Christmas gifts.
Not being a shy person I got on the phone to all the agencies,
no one had anything left. Except for one shelter, that had a couple of
toys. They told me to come on by and get them. Before I could even leave
the house, they called me back and told me to bring a van. Word had spread
very fast through the shelter about this family. The residents who had
just gotten their gifts the night before, were willing to share.
The ones with the least gave the most. This caused the
media to jump in. You can guess the rest. Someone even gave them a new
puppy. The family had a Merry Christmas.
sent in by readers
It was in the mid 40's. Money was still tight. My brother
came home from WW II. We were going to have a christmas tree. We didn't
have one while he was gone.
He bought the tree and sent me to buy more decorations.
As I walked to the store I was walking on air. My brother was home, we
were going to have a tree and --- and it began to snow. The small town
we lived in was desert land. Snow was unheard of. But today as in answer
to a prayer, we had snow. What more could a little girl ask for?
Yes we wish everything was always went right, and that life
was more like the movies when there is a happy ending. However this is
the real world, things don't always work the way we want them to.
So if you think you are having a rough time read on:
I am a single Mom with two small children 5 and 8.
I read a story in a local paper about a needy family in the area.
All the mother wished for was a Christmas tree. So after my children
cleaned out their toys for the three children there I just stopped and
asked if a private tree seller would donate a tree. Well for $5.00
he did. The children and I drove to the families home and my children
looked eyeball to eyeball with these children less fortunate. The
children and I struggle alot too so I had compassion for her story. I truly
hope this family does well and has a wonderful holiday. One of my
friends said "how do I know it is not a scam?" To me it didn't matter
because my children and I felt so wonderful that,as my daughter said, I
feel like my heart is going to pop right out Mom. My children experienced
the true meaning of Christmas.
Subject: will never forget Eng 257 Lad 170 Bn 58
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 21:09:25 EST
It was a chilly, winter night when I entered the firehouse
in which I work at in Canarsie, Brooklyn. When I entered
the quarters of Engine 257, Ladder 170, and the 58 Battalion, it was business
as usual. There was a lot of happy, smiling faces and of course a great
deal of joking around( busting chops) in the kitchen. Some guys were
packing up their belongings and heading home to
their families, while others, like myself, were reporting
for duty for the 6x9 tour. Due to a surplus in manpower, I would not work
with the guys in L-170 tonight, but instead with guys in L-113 "The Rats".
As I walked out the door of Canarsie's Bravest, I never knew that when
I said, "Take care guys and have a safe tour," it would be that last time
I spoke to Lt. Cavalieri, Chris Bopp and Jimmy Bohan.
At approximately 0434 hrs on the morning of Friday,
December 18, 1998, the brothers of E-257, L-170, Bn-58 responed to a phone
alarm at 17 Vandalia Ave. Little did they, I, or we know that this would
be the last alarm that Joey, Chris and Jimmy, working in L-170, would
respond too. The fire seemed almost routine until something tragic
happened. The inside team of L-170 would never return to their firehouse
again. I recieved the call around 7:00 am and I knew something bad
had happened. I left the quarters of L-113 and returned to
the company that I belonged too, only to find out that
three friends were gone, gone forever. The scene was bad, Chiefs,
Fire Marshalls, Firemen, Cops, and of course, a lot of people in suits
that I have never seen before. When I walked into quarters, E-257,
L-170, and Bn-58 were not there. I knew the news was not good. Engine
225, and Squad 252 were in front of quarters and a lot of guys were hugging
and crying. After a few minutes, I learned that three members of
LADDER 170 were gone. Their shoes were still scattered on the apparatus
floor only never to be filled again, and the riding position board displayed
their names and positions. The pain and sorrow that the men of E-257,
L-170 and the BN-58 share along with the brothers in E-262 ( where Bohan
was assigned) and L-150(where Cavalieri was promoted from) is unexplainable.
This "Black Friday", December 19, 1998 will never be forgotten and neither
will LT. Joseph Cavalieri, FF Christopher Bopp, and FF James Bohan
(assigned E-262). These three brothers and friends, were true heroes
who layed their lives down for the people of the City
of New York.
Please say a prayer for Joey, Chris, and Jimmy, who were
taken from us, and for Frank Nastro(L-170) , John Adinolfi(L-170), Lt Young(E-257),
Charles Murphy (E-257) Al Trapanese(E-257) Mike Ryan #2(E-257), Jack Paglino(E-257),
The officers and members of E-290, L-103, and Squad 252
who tried everything possible, myself for should have been there, and of
course to all of the brothers, cops, and EMS personel that responded to
Third Alarm Box-5-5-5-5-4080 at 17 Vandalia Ave in Brooklyn, NY on "Black
Friday", December 18, 1998.
PLEASE SAY A PRAYER AND PASS THIS ON.
Timothy Wodicka L-170 FDNY
1. When donating to the local food drive, donate
something you would like to receive.
2. When helping a family with Christmas, wrap only
the gifts for the adults. Bring wrapping paper, tape, and tags, with the
children's toys. It will bring a little extra joy for the parent(s) to
wrap the kids toys.
3. Necessities are always good. However, how would
you feel if the only gifts under your tree were: socks, underwear, and
gloves. Toss in a little something not needed. Even if its only a box of
chocolate covered cherries.
4. Most of all, preserve what pride and dignity
the family has. Asking for help may be one of the hardest things that a
person has ever had to do. Remind them most people have had tight years,
and when things are better, they could do the same for someone else.
My Christmas dream That some local business(s),
would take their last business day before Christmas, and pick-up the left
over letters to Santa. The employees, could do a quick run to the store
to grab the gift. All return to the office for a wrapping party. Then deliver
the gifts. Other wise these families have no chance at having anything
for Christmas. Maybe their family was to large, or the letter, wasn't written
so well. No matter why the letter wasn't chosen, no one should be forgotten.
Have a story, mail
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