Flanders column: Holiday acts of kindness

Hello, friends and neighbors. I hope you enjoyed your week. I’m not too happy with all that snow, but what can you do, we live in the Northeast. I guess I should be used to the snow, but honestly, no matter how beautiful it looks I could live without it.

I’m happy to mention two acts of kindness in this week’s column. Both have to do with holiday spirit and the generosity of others. Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to mention names (at the request of those involved), but it’s still a nice couple of stories. I hope you enjoy them.

On the Wednesday before Christmas I received a phone call from a Flanders couple who don’t have children of their own and who wanted to make a child’s Christmas extra special. After a few phone calls I found a family who was really struggling and I’m happy to report that the boy woke up on Christmas morning to many presents under his tree, including a new bike, new snow pants and a sled (I bet he’s happy we got all this snow), new clothes and lots of toys. I know his Christmas was extra special and I want to thank the secret Santas for all their help in making it possible.

The second random act of kindness came to my attention through a phone call from a woman who was at a local store early Thursday morning standing behind a man with a shopping cart full of stuffed animals. She asked the gentleman who could he possibly be buying all those stuffed animals for. It turns out the man is a teacher at Phillips Avenue School here in Riverside/Flanders and he was buying a stuffed animal for every child in his class as his gift to them. Wow! Again, I can’t mention names but the teacher who did this will get wind of this column and I personally want to thank him for being so generous. That was a very nice gesture and I’m sure many of your students were very happy that Thursday.

I know there are a lot of unknown stories of donations and help given by our residents here in our community and just because I don’t know about them, so couldn’t write about them, doesn’t mean your contribution to a child’s and family’s happiness is any the less valuable. Thanks to everyone who gives to those who are struggling. God bless you all.

Don’t forget to visit The Big Duck if you’re searching for that special, unique gift for someone for Valentine’s Day or a birthday. Proceeds go to helping him and the grounds look their best.
Happy birthday to my brother Mike Zaleski, who celebrates on Jan. 26, from your wife, Kim, and son, Ryan, your family and friends, and especially all of us here. We love you and we hope you enjoy your day! I’m crossing my fingers that it doesn’t snow for you.

If you’re a graduate of the Riverhead High School Class of 1986 give me a call. The 25-year reunion is approaching and it’s going to be “off the hook!”

Please drive safely and put those cell phones down. It’s not just the teenagers who are talking or texting while driving. Sit at a corner one day and watch how many people drive by, breaking the law and putting everyone’s life in danger. It’s very scary.

Take care, call or e-mail me with any news and have a wonderful weekend!