When Hurricane Sandy hit the coasts of New Jersey and New York on October 29, 2012. The damage throughout the states were devastating leaving families without food, clothing and shelter. Our family was very fortunate to only have power outage for a week which caused the loss of heat, light and food in the refrigerator. When the power was restored our life's pretty much went back to normal. My thoughts kept going to the families who suffered the "loss" of their homes, their belongings and most of all a sense of security. I knew that Butterfly Circle of Friends needed to help in some way. When searching to see what others were doing and how we can help. I came across the website "The Can Do Duck" https://www.thecandoduck.com/can-do-and-the-storm.html
There was a book called Can Do Duck and the Storm. A story about a duck and his friends that experienced a hurricane and how they coped, written by Ducktor Morty, M.D. and Esther Deblinger, Ph.D. The book was created to give adults a tool to help the children in their lives to express their feelings after a natural disaster.
With the permission of Morty, we printed a few hundred copies of the book to share at a local Thanksgiving dinner for those families affected by Hurricane Sandy.
In January 2013, we printed 5,000 copies of the book. Distributing them throughout New Jersey and New York. By October 2013 all the books were distributed. We hope that the families who received these wonderful books have found a way to cope thru the difficult times.
There are many characters in “The Scarlet Letter” that have positive and negative qualities. For example, Chillingworth is a shady and misunderstandable character; this is seen throughout the entire book. Today society is completely different from the Puritans. My family has many excellent traits that help me be the person that I am today.
I would consider my family to be unique and I do not know where I would be without them. Over this past weekend I paid close attention to my family’s qualities, and I noticed numerous things that I never bothered to take to heart before. My entire family is warm-hearted. It consists of a mother and a father that do not fight, a brother that is five years younger than me. My brother Troy has matured so much since he started his first year of high school this September. My parents have been together for 21 years, which is outstanding. There are numerous couples in the current society that fight all the time whose relationship seems to be becoming progressively worse each day. The outcome of a child with divorced parents is usually very upsetting and traumatizing. My mother and father assist my brother and I with several activities throughout each day. I would therefore consider my family to be “traditional”. Every morning I wake up to my father getting dressed for work, my younger brother getting ready for high school, and my mother making breakfast. I know of many of my friends who do not live in similar situations. My parents also make sure that I am awake for school everyday and that I get there on time. My parents are always pushing for me to make the most of my life and would like me to succeed as much as possible. In fact, my parents would like me to be even more successful than they are. My mother and father push me to strive to do my best in school because it will pay off in the future. I know many families who hope and think differently for their children. I wanted my parents to be proud, therefore I enlisted in the army; not only for my parents but for myself as well. My parents are extremely proud and grateful that I am their son, however are they are especially worried as to what my future is going to bring with me being in the army. My mother specifically said to me “I do not mind if you join the army, just as long as you finish college.” As to fulfill my mother’s wish, I am now enrolled at Middlesex County College. I strive and try my hardest to complete my parent’s expectations. I currently live at home and my mother still prepares meals for me contrary to the fact that I am growing older. When I become ill, my parents do everything in their power to try and make me better. They will book a doctor’s appointment for me or tend to me while I am sick in bed.
This past weekend displayed an excellent example of how loving and caring my parents actually are. I was driving to work and I got into an accident. I was unable to drive my car because of the shape it was in. As soon as I called my parents, they came to my assistance and calmed me down. My father called the insurance company and informed them as what happened. Since I am currently without a car, my parents either drive me wherever I need to go or let me borrow their car. My mother and father make sure I have a way to class, work, etc. and I am very grateful for them.
Overall, my family is truly amazing and unique. My parents are always there for me and support my brother and I with every action we take. Although I am growing older, I am aware that my parents will always support and be there for me whenever I need their assistance. I care very much for them and will take care of them for the rest of their lives if needed.
Our last family picture, Michael's going away party June 21, 2008.
On July 2, 2015, Butterfly Circle of Friends, Vice President, Pedro Gonzalez and President, Ida Gonzalez presented a check to Veronica Clinton of Middlesex County College Foundation to establish the Spc. Michael L Gonzalez Scholarship at Middlesex County College. The scholarship was established in Michael's memory and will be for veterans and military personnel. This scholarship is yearly funded. Butterfly Circle of Friends is currently raising funds to provide an endowment scholarship.
Pictured above Kayleigh Maklary, veteran and MCC Foundation assistant, Pedro Gonzalez, Ida Gonzalez, Veronica Clinton and Rich Feldman, Coordinator, Veterans Services Center.
After watching this youtube video Boatlift I started to think about heroes and memories of September 11, 2001. For our family it was just a normal day, husband at work, kids went to school and I was at home on the computer had the television on behind me. Then the news came on I just sat there watching in fear not really understanding what was going on. Planes crashing into the World Trade Centers and then crumbling down to nothing but ruble. The need to get my boys from school was overwhelming, I just wanted them to be w home with me. At the time Michael was 13 years old and Troy was 7 years old. Troy was probably yea I get to go home and play. Michael had a bewildered look like why are you here. Mother's do not come and get their kids from school just because they feel like it especially before lunch.