NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The heartwarming story of a City Island woman who wanted to help tornado victims in the south touched the hearts of many last week.
Her efforts to collect donations transformed into an enormous success and that was only the beginning.
The scene of devastation throughout the south — especially Alabama — broke the heart of Patricia Madsen, who decided to do something about it.
Madsen already collected hundreds of bags of donated items, which have been sent to those who need them.
However, the donations haven’t stopped. People have been donating goods from Connecticut, New Jersey and Long Island.
“My things, they’re going to Alabama because all the people, their stuff’s gone,” Madsen’s 3-year-old daughter, Andrea, told CBS 2′s Don Dahler.
“I just did a pickup at the Brentwood Library in Brentwood for my clients, and they say that there’s more to come,” Barrie Allen said.
City Island businesses have also been getting in on the act. Grocer Paul Scavelo answered Madsen’s request with a “yes.”
“It’s an honor for us to be able to help in any way, so we’ve been sending boxes this past week of food,” he said.
Kitchen supplies, toys, boxes and bags of clothes now cover Madsen’s front porch. They can barely make their way upstairs past yet more donations.
“It is big. It’s very big, bigger than I ever imagined,” Madsen said.
The truck to Alabama won’t come until next week, so Madsen is cleaning out her shed to make room for all the donations. Her husband, P.J., can’t believe what she’s started.
“She’s helping all these people. She’s amazing,” he said.
And equally important is the lesson Madsen’s daughters, and everyone else, are learning.
“One person can make a difference. You just have to speak up and say, you know what, I’m going to make a change and you can. You really can,” Madsen said.
For more information or to find out how you can donate, you can contact Patricia Madsen directly at (917) 971-9945.