YONKERS N.Y. - Folding green paper, cutting little slits and making red bows were just some of the things students at one Yonkers school did to help lift the holiday spirits of people in the Rockaways devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
Pre-kindergarten to eighth-grade students at Yonkers School 23 are creating Christmas wreaths for Christ Community Church in Breezy Point to help spread holiday cheer to a community that was ravaged by the hurricane.
The school has partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Westchester to help decorate the church, which has become a shelter for national volunteers and a hub for the Breezy Point community.
The church has been gutted and stripped, but it still serves as a command center for the local community, said Assistant Principle Theresa Abate.
"It was my idea for the students to create wreaths for the Rockaways because the community has been through so much," Abate said. "There's still a whole lot of people over there, but there really isn't much good to look at. My vision was that these wreaths would help lift up their spirits during the holiday season."
Second-grade teacher Antigone Allen said her students really took an interest in making the wreaths and have done a great job.
"We were told about the Breezy Point church and I thought just how wonderful decorating it with wreaths would be," Allen said. "I make holiday wreaths with the students every year, but this year we're putting all of them together on one giant cardboard wreath. I really hope it makes a difference because everyone should be happy during the holidays.”
Madison Rosado, 7, said she wanted to make the wreaths because they were going to make other people feel good.
"I really liked making the wreaths because I think it's going to make people happy during the holidays," she said. "Decorating the church will make things look nice and that's a good thing. Helping out other people makes me feel good and I like that too. Everybody should be happy and have a good holiday so I’m doing my best to help."