100 Christmas Trees….With Love
By Gary G. Toms
Last week, The Bowery Mission delivered 500 Christmas trees to needy families in Washington Heights and Rockaway, Queens, including people who lost loved ones on Flight 587.
The trees were sent by flatbed truck, via The Mohney Trucking Company, from the Indiana Company Tree Growers Association in Pennsylvania, which donated the trees. The Pennsylvania radio station QMU-92 PA helped to coordinate the event.
The truck delivered 400 trees to St. Catherine of Genoa Church, in the Washington Height community in Manhattan, and 100 trees to St. Rose of Lima Parish in Rockaway Beach.
"Given the magnitude of how this community has been affected by the World Trade Center attack and the crash of Flight 587, this was something that we felt would help to spread a little holiday cheer to the community," stated James Macklin, Director of The Bowery Mission.
Brian R. Johannson, Executive Director of The Bowery Mission, praised the people of both Washington Heights and Rockaway for the courage they have shown in the wake of the tragedies.
"These communities have suffered tremendously, and this is our way of trying to show them that people do care and share in their pain. These trees are a symbol of hope and courage, the two things that these communities have displayed to the world.
Max S. Mohney, owner of Mohney Trucking Company, drove for over seven hours, from Pennsylvania, to make the deliveries.
"It was a long haul, but I had no problems coming through. You’d think that the roadblocks and checkpoints that have been set up coming into New York would’ve slowed me down, but since I have open cargo, they let me right through. It was a long drive, but the smiles on the people’s faces when I pulled up made it worth the trip."
The Bowery Mission, was founded in 1879, and is one of New York’s oldest and most respected institutions dedicated to the homeless. The Mission’s programs include after school programs called Kids with a Promise, which serves inner-city children; The Transitional Center, an extensive six to nine month program to help men break addiction, find jobs, and then move into their own apartments; and the Women’s Ministry, which provides parental skill development, career training, and household management to assist women in making independent living a success.
If you would like more information on The Bowery Mission, you can contact them by phone at (212) 684-2800, or by email at www.bowery.org.