STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Westerleigh mom of seven, Carolyn DiBono, is amazed by the incredible generosity of a total stranger and the joy it has brought to her four sons. And she is on a mission to find her and thank her.
“My four sons were doing Christmas lights with their dad and stepdad when they took a lunch break at a park on Koch Boulevard,” said DiBono. “They were eating Chinese takeout when a woman walked over to them with a box filled with games asking them if they wanted them. Never could this woman have known exactly how much joy she would bring to these teenagers’ lives.”
The stranger told the four brothers — twins Eric and Robert, 15, and twins Nico and Matthew, 13, — that her own son had grown out of them and she was giving them away for free. The boys said sure, not really knowing what was in the box. The box included a PlayStation4, more than 60 PS4 games, controls, head phones, and other extras.
“Once my husband, Nick, realized what was in the box, he jokingly asked if her son was going to come looking for them to get his games back,” DiBono continued. “She responded no, that he didn’t live with her anymore and that they could have everything. He asked her if she wanted anything for the box and she kindly said no and walked away.”
BASEMENT FLOODED AND DESTROYED BY HURRICANE IDA
Everyone was speechless at the generosity of a complete stranger, continued DiBono. “Never could this woman have known that these four boys just lost everything they owned in Hurricane Ida when five feet of water came rushing through our basement,” continued DiBono.
The four brothers lived in the basement, literally. Not only were their gaming systems down there, but so were their bedrooms and living space. Everyone was destroyed, including their belongings, clothes, furniture, books, and more.
“Never could she have known that she just single-handedly replaced every single game they lost and then some. Never could she have known that she just reinforced in my children’s hearts and minds that good things happen to good people,” she added.
DiBono is hoping to find the woman and thank her. “Whoever you are, thank you so much. You have no idea what you just did and that’s what makes this even more special,” she said. “You just made the day of two 15-year-olds and two 13 years olds who were working to save money to buy all of these games again.”
The best part? DiBono said her sons now want to pay it forward which brings her “so much joy,” as it is a lesson she has always instilled in her children. “I have tried to teach my children that hard work and being a good person pay off. They are amazing boys who deserve the best. They are helpful and caring older brothers to three sisters.”
SMALL BUSINESS OWNER
Carolyn DiBono is the owner of Beckett Van Service, a business she runs from home. “My boys are constantly helping me with their siblings so that I can work,” she said of her children. “This woman walked into their lives at the right time and it is amazing!
“I am not looking for donations because our family is fine. I just am sharing my story to remind everyone that there are wonderful people out there and to express my gratitude as a mother for the joy a random act of kindness has brought, post-Ida.”
The DiBono family is in the process of repairing their basement. “Everything went in the dumpster. We had to buy necessities first because absolutely everything in the basement was destroyed, and that’s where my kids spent most of their time. So buying games came last.
“But my boys haven’t complained once about not having their games yet. They’ve been patient and understanding. So it was unbelievable that this woman did this. She had no idea. It’s crazy. And they now see and understand how the kindness of strangers impacts others.”