Massapequa Moms: The Right Side of the Hurricane

Moms who come together when we become the news.

This past week we’ve all had a crash course in that dreaded subject, science. We probably know more than we want to know about surges and tide charts than we ever waned to know. One thing I kept hearing was the right side of the hurricane. I’ll bore you with more science for just a second. According to one of the many hurricane fact sites I’ve been gleaning information from,


In general, the strongest winds in a hurricane are found on the right side of the storm because the motion of the hurricane also contributes to its swirling winds.


That translates to: the right side of the hurricane is typically the worst side. As someone who never took to science, I have to disagree. A group of moms here in Massapequa have become their own right side of the hurricane.


Not that long ago, a mom in Massapequa, Dawn Boyle Kostakis, formed a group on Facebook called Massapequa Moms. From the time we heard news of Hurricane Sandy, the Massapequa Moms has been the right side of the hurricane.



The Massapequa Moms has no official place in any social work network yet they have become a growing network of support and generosity for many of our local families. When people spoke of evacuating, one mom offered to take in pets. It didn’t matter that she had never met the owner or pet. All were welcome. Large or small, friendly or not so much, she didn’t want to see any pets left behind and was willing to do whatever necessary to house them all safely.


When power went down, many were cut off from news. By some miracle, Facebook never faltered and the MMs were posting pictures, storm updates, and safety tips. We all checked FB frequently, not just for news, but to see how our new friends, people some of us had never met outside of this group, were faring in the storm.


I wasn’t one of the brave souls who stayed. I took my kids and went to a hotel and watched the events unfold while my kids went swimming in an indoor pool and Tweeted about how bored they were. The horrors of hotel living for a teen!


Throughout the storm, I was able to log onto the Massapequa Moms and share in what was happening in our community. We all felt the fear as moms talked about the water rising or the pumps not working fast enough. We shared in the sadness when people had to give up trying to save their home and evacuate. We felt relief knowing that some who stayed were rescued by National Guard and our amazing volunteer Fire Department.


 We also all shared in the loss when the storm was over and our friends went home to face the devastation. We all saw posts with pictures of flooded streets and homes, downed trees and power lines. The fear throughout the community was shared by all of us whether we lost our home or not. Nobody was untouched.



The moms went from talk about what may happen to what we all can do for each other. . The MM board is filled with offers for people to come shower, do laundry, charge phones and computers, have a hot meal, and even sleep. The outpouring of support has been amazing. We have read accounts of heartbreak and destruction and all shed a few tears as some moms questioned how they can send their kids to school when they have no place to lay their heads and only the clothes on their back.


We all waited for updates from moms who posted during the storm and then were silent. We hoped that it was a power issue and nothing worse. We feared for people we loved and for people we had never met. And we came together as a group of people, a community to help.


MMs have regrouped to face the devastation as a community. Where did anyone get gas? What grocery store is open? Anyone know of a working ATM?


The right side of the hurricane has now become a place on social media that is collecting food, clothing, bedding, house wares, and toiletries. Some moms have set up documents that list all of the people with things to offer as well as people who need and what they need. There is no separation of wealth. This storm has been the great equalizer and this group called Massapequa Moms has been an amazing source of information and support for many of the moms who belong. It has been a generous outpouring of those with things helping those without.



The Massapequa Moms faced the right side of the hurricane and became their own force, a force of moms coming together to help their community survive, rebuild and thrive. We’ve all read news accounts of great things coming from tragic events, people coming together, stranger helping stranger. Now we are living it.






This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

LAKETAJO November 03, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Absolutely fantastic! Oh how the human spirit prevails when the chips are down. May u all be safe & continue the kindness.
Debbie Viola November 04, 2012 at 01:58 AM
I am a member of the group and although I know hardly anyone personally, it is such a great way to find out what is going on in the community, and what can be done to help it. Not having TV for a week, I managed to get Internet access for a bit today. The first thing I did was go on Facebook to the Massapequa Moms group to see everyone's status. The personal devastation of so many is hearbreaking. I also learned that Marjorie Post was collecting donations today, so I bought groceries, water, clothes, and went through our closets and gathered sweatshirts, sweaters, winter coats, pants, etc. Drove to Marjorie Post and was completely blown away by how many bags and boxes of donations there were. My husband and I will be there Sunday morning at 10:00 to aid in the distribution to those in need. I am so proud to be part of such a caring community for the past 26 years. Debbie Viola
Kristen Ferrari November 05, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Debbie, The group has been an amazing source of information and support for so many, even those outside of the group. When the news is filled with stories of people stealing generators or fighting on gas lines, I hoped to show the other face of this storm, all the generous and loving people who have helped complete strangers. Like you, I don't know all in the group, and I found myself glued to Facebook waiting to make sure everyone was ok, at least physically.
Kristen Ferrari November 06, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Curlyhead, I'm genuinely sorry that that is what you have taken away from this group. What inspired me to write this blog about them was the amount of generosity and selflessness I witnessed. They have been a tremendous support to so many. I'm not sure what back patting you've seen but the good that I've seen has been enormous.
Kristen Ferrari November 06, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Thank you Laketajo, there has been an amazing outpouring of support from all of these moms. They are all trying to help one another with limited resources. It has been heartwarming to see the way people pull together in times of crisis.
JM November 06, 2012 at 08:09 PM
I don't think anyone is looking for praise. I think we are looking for ways to share positive things with one another. Looking for ways to make this all work better....we need to know what one another is doing/has done in order to make the whole donation process run smoother. Why is it that no matter what there is ALWAYS one person that has to play devil's advocate and ruin the flow of positivity. Okay well I guess maybe some of us were patting ourselves on the back. Massapequa Moms is an amazing group of women that has made me finally feel like part of the community I have lived in for a very long time.
Amanda November 06, 2012 at 08:18 PM
I am new to this group but I find them the most generous, humble and hard-working group of people I have come across in a long time. What they have done is a true inspiration. They deserve a lot more than a pat on the back in my opinion. They are encouraging each other, helping each other keep their chins up, donating their time/possessions and giving this devastated community something to look forward to each day. If you would like to keep your charity private, I suggest you make an anonymous donation to the group leader so she can help those in need. Ladies, you are AMAZING. A huge hug and a huge pat on the back for each of you.
Christy T November 06, 2012 at 08:18 PM
This group has given us all the opportunity to become involved in our community. As a mother of a child that is not yet in school, I felt isolated from my town's activities. Since I joined this group I feel like I am part of a smaller community and part of a team of mothers that puts their energy in a positive place.
Terri Farley November 06, 2012 at 08:28 PM
OMG - you are so rude!! People aren't patting themselves on the back. I truly believe folks are helping because they truly care about their neighbors, friends, family and/or loved ones. I believe this site was used as communication tool for all moms. Remember what your mother said - if you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all.
KrisP November 06, 2012 at 08:30 PM
The moms group is a wonderful resource for parents, even before the storm. I have learned so much, I've been able to ask questions, get advise and give advise. The group has great people with a great knowledge base, that if someone doesn't know an answer they recommend someone or a business who maybe able to help. The storm as brought a community of moms (and dads) together. I have heard and seen people in other communities ask for assistance, people wandering not knowing where to go for gas, clothing, shelters or saying what can I do to help.(many people do not have internet, and can only access F.B. via their cell phones and they ask/seek for help) The Moms group has in my opinion has helped make the recovery that could of been so much more chaotic into something streamlined. Who is accepting what donations, where to go for this, where to go for that, don't go here because they raised the price etc. Women even offered to drive and carpool children to school. What other community does that? In a crisis situation people often think and look out for them self and their family before anyone else. These ladies not only look out for their families they think of and look out for complete strangers.
Daniela November 06, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Great article n wonderful group of people that live in our neighborhood. Still can't believe how generous n good hearted these Massapequa Moms are. Unfortunately, while these difficult times bring out the good in people it also brings out the nasty in others. Tip of the day: if you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all.
Stephanie Hartman November 06, 2012 at 08:58 PM
To curlyhead ... I find your comment utterly absurd and truly offensive ... We have been busting our asses to help the families of such devestation not one person has kept score not one person sAid oh me this is about families helping families, so all I can say to you is that it is your loss to not be apart of such a great group of woman and its your loss that in a time of such crisis you cannot see the beauty of humanity
Lisa Barone November 06, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Curlyhead..... are you for real?! What this group has done in a short amount of time is absolutely commendable. Do you even know what they have done? $3000.00 raised for an elderly women in need. over $3000.00 raise for a single mom with cancer. Shut down a illegal massage parlors, have been a driving force in the after math of Hurricane Sandy in helping those who have lost everything. The list goes on & on. You may see it as patting themselves on the back, others see it as motivation to do more. It's called inspiration. Apparently, you do not understand the true value of community and working as a team. I'm sure if you ever needed help, or information you would be the first one posting on the group of 1700 women to get what you needed. And you know what, they would get it done. So before you trash a group of mothers trying to make their community better... take a good long look in the mirror.
Kathleen O'Connor November 06, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Oh Curlyhead, really???? Our town has been devastated by one tragedy after the other. I'm not really sure it is appropriate, nor does anyone want to read your negativety. I have never seen anyone pat themselves on the back........but I am going to do so now!!!! These women have been nothing but kind, extremely generous, and have performed so many selfless acts. I know so, because I have met with many of them along with the families that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. They have all united together to help one another and they should pat themselves on the back, but I know they won't, because this is a group of ladies with a lot of class!!!
Susan R November 06, 2012 at 09:27 PM
This group has become a part of my family. Though we may not know everyone in this group just yet, we some how became pieces of a puzzle. We fit. This is a strong loving group and we will continue to be there for each other in good times and bad. Your message Karin was nothing but the truth! Priceless ...
ladynredst November 06, 2012 at 10:11 PM
It is really amazing to me that anyone would have anything negative to say about this inspirational and amazing group of women. The second someone gets gas, they are running to help someone in need. I have heard of people getting spit on in gas lines and observed nastiness in stores since Sandy, these women are trying to come together in a positive way and I commend and appreciate people like them.
Linda Chin November 06, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Hey Curlyhead! What the hell is wrong with you? Have you no decency, no respect for others. Of us all a favor and stay off the MM's site. We don't need your negativity! I'm absolutely appalled by your comments! People are going out of their way to help others and you find something to complain about? It's just wrong. Oh, and way to hide behind your alias. Nice! To Kristen...thank you for writing such a beautiful article! Perhaps other towns will be inspired to do the same as these Massapequa Moms! This group makes me proud to be a Massapequa native! Stay strong LI!!
Jill Werfelman November 07, 2012 at 12:20 AM
I'm a newer group member and I don't feel anyone wants or is patting themselves on the back. It's just good old helping each other and im proud to be a member of this group. The mms have been so welcoming and so warm. I am so happy we moved into such a warm community.
Terry Molloy November 07, 2012 at 01:04 AM
What a beautiful tribute Kristen!! I am so proud if what our community has done, and now I believe that with a little determination, and a lot of heart, which this group of moms has surely shown, anything is possible!!! Terry Molloy
Leah Ruppert Irving November 07, 2012 at 01:27 AM
I have to disagree with Curlyhead. No one is patting THEMSELVES on the back. We share what we do to get the word out, to give others ideas on how to help. If someone says "Ihanded out blankets and coffee in the Shores" they are not looking for a YAY me moment, just to show where others may be able to help, or simply to say look, we CAN make a difference. I know very few of these women physically, but would open my door to anyone of them without a second thought. Every one of these women is a source of strength, support, comic relief, a shoulder to cry on and be the one to say hey I get it, you are not alone. Whether it is one of them or the whole of us as a group, I feel blessed to have found these ladies and honored to be one of them
Allison Goodwin November 07, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Excellent blog. As frightening as it was to live through this horror, it was a comfort to know so many other "Moms" were living through it too. I find this group to be filled with wonderful, caring women who lean on each other for advice and tips. Well done!
Dgirl November 07, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Hence the word "was"....
Dgirl November 07, 2012 at 02:09 AM
As part of the group it is very touching to see people come together in a time of need!! Great work MM's!! <3
deweysmom November 07, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Seriously curlyhead?? These moms are not patting themselves on the back as you say!! I am guessing you were on this site and were involved in the problems with dance studios and your remarks here are only sour grapes!!! I saw noone saying yay me as you said only woman who posted where to get gas, where to get help- I am proud to be a member of this group and will pray you find your way!!
Kristen Ferrari November 07, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Thanks everyone for your comments. What I have witnessed was inspiring. We watch disasters on the news and stories about communities coming together and I felt that was what we did. We came together as a community and every single person who was a part of it has a reason to be proud. I haven't seen one person do something and then post about how wonderful they are but I do know many who have asked who needs help or things or information. My experience with this group has been nothing but positive. Thank you all!
Maria Cardis November 07, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Hi Massapequ Moms this is Maria John Michael Cardis;s Mom. We were hit pretty hard by Sandy. We aren't able to go back to our home and are currently staying in a hotel until we find a place to reside. If any of you know of a house or apartment within Massapequa please contact me. Keeping my children stable is my upmost concern. My email address is mariachille1965@gmail.com. Thanks and everyone stay safe!!!!!!!
Debbie Viola November 08, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Somehow my response to Curlyhead didn't post yesterday, so I will try again. This group has been nothing more than an asset to the community. This is an amazingly resourceful group of women who, from what I see, are only trying to help each other. If someone posted that they are trying to raise $, it wasn't for a pat on the back, but to try to make the donation bigger. As stated by Lisa B., this group has raised serious $$ through their own donations, for local people in need. Because of their collective research, in ONE DAY of presenting their evidence, MM were able to shut down an illegal massage parlor! Last night, a Mom posted a specific need for local hurricane victims. I was happy to have those items on hand, so I went and delivered them to her. Another Mom came to my house to pick up more stuff, solely because of her post on this group. You may say I just tooted our own horns, but I say, we are just sharing information and resources, for the good of the community. And Lord knows, so many in our community need all the help they can get now. LIPA, FEMA, and govt officials certainly are leaving these people in the dark, pun intended, on so many levels, with so much conflicting information. It's just outrageous. While you may be in a nice warm place, hundreds of Massapequa families no longer have homes to go to; many are STILL staying on their property, despite the weather, for fear of looting or further damage. M Moms are a lifeline and only trying to help.
Kristen Ferrari November 10, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Maria, I'm so sorry you were hit so bad. Unfortunately many of the families in Massapequa are going through exactly the same thing. The Moms are meeting up today 11/10 at 3 pm at Marjorie Post hoping to get media attention and answers as to what is being done to fix this mess. Hope to see you there!
Kristen Ferrari November 10, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Debbie, You are absolutely right. The MMs have accomplished a great deal in a short time and have every right to feel proud. I know too many families who are still not able to go home due to power issues and storm damage. Part of being in a community means coming together during a crisis. The Massapequa Moms have certainly stepped up and tried to help as many as possible.
peggy powers March 14, 2013 at 10:42 PM
we are looking for a reco for blinds and shades


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