Brown Mothers in Staten Island on November 24, 2012
Hey Brown Mothers,
Happy Morning! It was one of the greatest feelings to hand out bags to Brown Mothers on Staten Island yesterday. We began packing the night before because there were so many items! Tha B.U.M.P. was blessed with fifty of each item to place in the bags:
Socks, toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, individual anti-bacterial, loads of granola bars, bottle of water, soap, deodorant, warm gloves, hats, combs, brushes, sanitary items, loads of snacks, homemade brownies, hand lotion, chap stick, shampoo, conditioner, razor, shaving cream, mints, chewing gum, and hand sanitizers were the items in the bag.
We arrived at St. Christopher’s Church located on 130 Midland Avenue around noon time. Only to find a note affixed to the door that read “Donations are not being received here go to 2582 Hylan Blvd and Peter Street”. Unable to bare the traffic and iMap freezing we paused for sanity! When we finally arrived, the line was flabbergasting. It was wrapped around the entire block. Mothers, Fathers, children, and babies waiting. It was a dovish sound but when you looked at their faces you could feel the heart of worriment.
I walked around the line curious as to what the line was exactly for. A “Peace Officer” (officers with the bright blue jackets) stated that the line was for a FEMA credit card in the amount of six hundred dollars. Everyone standing on the line, already met with FEMA and had a claim number. The claim numbers were a certain range and those numbers were the only numbers being seen that day. The people standing on the line started standing there since one o’clock in the morning!
Across the street was another line. I spoke to a mother who had her little girl with her. She stated that this new line was for the next set of claim numbers for tomorrow (Sunday)!!! Now if you did not meet with FEMA yet and complete the first portion then you cannot stand on this line. She looked fatigued but holding on. She stated that she will stand on the line until Sunday morning. Once I explained to the Peace Officer the mission she stated that there was a site I could go to and drop the bags off. I explained to her that we will drop them off and we need to place them in a Mothers hand and look in her eyes. She shook her head and said okay. I decided to go to the end of the the line and distribute the BUMP.
Some of us cried while handing the bags out. Some of us stood in awe. The line had a greater length than breathe and the people were just standing. I hugged and stood with one Mother who said, “I lost everything.” She started to cry and I just hugged her. I told her that this bag is filled with items from women in the Westchester, Brooklyn, and Bronx area. She looked at me… I hugged her… Her blue eyes hit my soul and I walked off.
From my heart I want to thank everyone of you who took time out of their busy day and took money out of your wallets to fulfill a heart, build hope, and pass on grace.
Brown Mothers: Yvette Burgess, Felicia Barnes-Hymes, Geneve Adair, Cassandra Stubbs-Burton, Diane Alleyne, Donna Toone, Michelle Blake-Wilson, Jessica Soto, SuziQ Medina, Barbara Hartmann, Tanisha Burgess, Doreen Wright, Nazarene Duncan, Tracey Dixon, Simone Oliver, Florence Bolton, Turquoise Johnson, Barbara Perry-Ragland, Diane Figueroa, and Stephani Rivera.
I look forward to collaborating with you again for Tha B.U.M.P. next volunteer adventure in January 2013. Please alert other mothers about “Tha B.U.M.P.” The Brown Urban Mother Partnership. I need the list to grow and suggestions as well. I will forward information as I get everything together.
“As a Brown Mother I believe in giving life out of the womb with just a heart bump away!” -Cynthia Turnquest-Jones
A Brown Mother,
Cynthia Turnquest-Jones 11/25/12