BRAVO volunteers traditionally gather on 86th Street during the month of December to greet shoppers, tell them about the organization and raise much needed funds to support their efforts.
This years collections included an interesting twist as told by member Christina Napoli.
As usual, said Napoli, we were on 86th Street, in front of one of our ambulances, with Santa Claus dancing on the roof to the sound of the Christmas carols we were playing. Hundreds of people were walking up and down the block, getting in some last-minute shopping, when suddenly Santa started shouting, Christina, Christina! She was hit by a car! I looked up to the roof and saw Santa (brilliantly played by Paula Meizlik) waiving his arms and pointing down the street.
Crew member Robert Lewis and I ran to where a 13-year-old girl had been hit by a slow-moving vehicle and fortunately sustained only minor injuries. BRAVO members Adam Gottlieb and Tony Napoli joined us in caring for the girl and getting her into the ambulance.
Once in the ambulance, the young girl looked at me and asked, How did you get to me so fast? I asked her, Would you believe me if I told you that it was actually Santa who told me and pointed me this way? She smiled and asked, Do you mean the dancing one on the ambulance? with an innocent chuckle. I naturally replied, Yes.
At that point, the young girl’s father stated, I just donated a dollar to you guys. I should’ve donated more… and, it wasn’t even my dollar, it was hers, he added, pointing to his daughter.