Christmas shined a little brighter this year for families living in some of Long Island’s poorest neighborhoods thanks to the efforts of one Riverside native.
Tijuana Fulford, 33, a former Girl Scout and mother of three young children, surprised nearly 90 young girls with mountains of presents Dec. 21 at the Riverhead Town Senior Center in Aquebogue.
Two-year-old Taliah rummaged through mountains of presents last Wednesday night as Tijuana Fulford made sure each bag’s label was secure.
Tijuana Fulford with her daughter, Alexandria, 6, at last week’s The Butterfly Effect Project meeting. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch photos)
In the basement of the Riverhead Free Library last Wednesday, 13 girls learned about making friends, decision-making skills and nail care.
The group also discussed making Easter baskets and donating them to the Salvation Army and to children living at the Roanoke Avenue homeless shelter.
The meeting’s organizer, Riverside native Tijuana Fulford, is a former Girl Scout. She was taken under the wing of now-retired Riverhead Town Historian Justine Wells nearly 20 years ago and learned lessons about self confidence, living life to its fullest and staying out of trouble.