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Exclusive photos: Everyday heroes and the stories of love and charity you never see


Jeffrey Bruno

Jeffrey Bruno - published on 05/07/20

How a group of MOMs stepped up to care for their neighbors.

Around the world, people from every walk of life have been coming up with creative ways to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Priests are taking the 

, literally, to rain down grace upon the towns they minister to.

 where school teachers in their cars (and sometimes fire trucks) drive past their student’s homes waving flags, flashing lights and honking horns.

And even celebrities like the 

 performances to bolster the spirits of those who need a lift while sheltering at home.

But beneath the headlines are countless stories of ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things for their communities.

For example, in the rolling hills of the New York City suburb of Tappan, a small group of women has organized to provide for the essential needs of the community in which they live … not something considered necessarily newsworthy.

Except it is.

Inspired by the mask-making Dominican Sisters of Summit, eight women from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish in Tappan, New York, wasted no time brainstorming how they could help. They began by forming a team of sewers, cutters, and delivery to create masks. They’ve provided hundreds of masks to a variety of groups and individuals, including The Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt and the workers at Dominican College, The Daughters of Saint Ann, nurses from the Bronx, and members of the community.

But they didn’t stop there.

They created a fundraiser to raise money to purchase grocery cards to distribute to those who were caught by the sudden contraction of jobs that overtook the region in the lockdown.

“Truly, we are put on this earth to live in service, to take care of each other … I got nervous at first at the thought ‘I don’t know how to do this!’ … it’s so small in the scheme of things. But if I can’t take care of someone, I can help this way.” stated Amy Bianco, sewing chief for the initiative.

These ladies are no stranger to stepping up. Two years earlier, inspired by a local parish priest, they formed a foundation called MOM (Missionaries of Mercy). The group passionately advocates for and develops programs to aid the poor and the marginalized.

This is just one example of thousands of initiatives taken up by ordinary citizens across the nation, proving once again that not every hero wears a cape — some wear sweats.

Just because it isn’t in the news, it doesn’t mean it’s not actually touching lives; it doesn’t mean it’s not essential, and it certainly doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter.

Because in reality, these “small” selfless acts of kindness that all too often go unseen are in fact the best part of humanity living up to its potential, the potential to live for others through love and service.

CharityCoronavirusCOVID-19New York
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