NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey mother is hoping to give back to a couple struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.
She’s newly divorced and donating her wedding and engagement rings, CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon reported Tuesday.READ MORE: Sources: Salman Muflihi Faces Hate Crime Charges In Stabbing Of Asian Man In Lower Manhattan
“I did consider selling them, pawning them,” Christine Bonavita said.
When Bonavita finalized her divorce last year after 10 years of marriage, she struggled with an important decision — what to do with her diamond wedding and engagement rings.
After careful consideration, the insurance agent decided she should donate them to a couple in need.
“A lot of people say that there’s karma or bad juju and I don’t believe that. I know I’m giving these rings out of love,” Bonavita said.
Originally from New Jersey but currently living in Virginia, Bonavita posted about the giveaway on social media in early January. She asked couples to share stories about how their love helped them through the pandemic.
“It doesn’t matter to me if they’ve been married for five weeks or 50 years, or they are going to get married. What I’m looking for is a love story,” Bonavita said.
Her ex-husband, a disabled combat veteran, has decided to donate his band as well.
The rings are worth around $4,000 in total.
“I know a lot of people are struggling. I know what it’s like to struggle,” Bonavita said. “It’s my way of just giving back and just being kind.”
COVID VACCINEREAD MORE: Elizabeth Galarza Arrested For Allegedly Repeatedly Punching 2-Year-Old In The Face On Subway
- New York State book online here or call 1-833-NYS-4-VAX
- New York City book online here or call 877-VAX-4NYC
- Nassau County more info here
- Suffolk County more info here
- Westchester County more info here
- New Jersey book online here or call 1-855-568-0545
- Connecticut book online here
Bonavita said the only criteria to apply for the rings is that you have be over the age of 18, but she said she will give preference to first responders, member of the LGBTQ community, minorities and those with disabilities.
So far, she said she has received more than 1,000 submissions from around the world.
“The stories that I’ve been getting, 99% of them are so mind blowing,” Bonavita said. “Everyday people like you and me and what they’ve gone through during this pandemic.”
Bonavita said she has already spent hours reading the touching submissions.
- Ask CBS2’s Dr. Max Your Vaccine Questions
- COVID Vaccine FAQ From CDC
- Vaccination Sites In New York City | Call 877-VAX-4NYC
- Find A New York City Testing Site Near You
- Check NYC Testing Wait Times
- Explanation Of N.Y.’s Yellow, Orange, Red Zones (.pdf)
- Resources: Help With Unemployment, Hunger, Mental Health & More
- Remote Learning Tools For Students And Parents At Home
- Complete Coronavirus Coverage
When asked how she will ultimately choose who will get the rings, she said, “It’s going to come to me. I believe in my heart I’m going to read one and I know that it’s that one.”
She added she is completely at peace with her decision.
“Absolutely not,” she said when asked if she feels any sadness about giving up the rings. “I’m as exited as I was on the day that I received them. I’m as excited to find that couple and to be able to share and hand these to them, with only blessings.”
Bonavita said she is accepting submissions until Feb. 1 and hopes to choose a lucky couple on Valentine’s Day.
If you want a chance to win the ring, you can email Bonavita here.
CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon contributed to this reportMORE NEWS: New Yorkers At Bronx Food Pantry Describe Need For Federal Stimulus Checks, $15 Minimum Wage; 'Got To Choose Between Rent, Food'
More From CBS New York: