Over a month after a , her brokenhearted family is struggling to carry on without her -- and the Flanders community is rallying to support them.
Raquel Reyes-Marin, 27, died on April 7 after giving birth to her third child, Jonathon. She also left behind Jaqueline, 6, Joshua, 3, and her long-time companion and the father of her children, Cristobal Albidiz, 28.
On Monday night, Flanders, Northampton Riverside Community Association vice-president Vince Taldone reached out to members, asking them to open their hearts and reach out with donations of baby supplies, clothes, toys, and funds to help Reyes-Marin's family.
"She left three children and her life partner without resources," Taldone says. "Is there a way we can all help? Clothing, toys, baby supplies -- whatever you can donate," he said. "They're trying to make it through a really hard time."
Members of the community asked what supplies were necessary and what hours the Riverhead Country Day School was open to accept donations; the day school is open from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
So far, no donations have come in, said Riverhead County Day School Director Cheryl Taorimina, who recommended gift cards as a good way to contribute.
She added that local support for the famly at a dark time is priceless. "Even the community doing anything will be like a big hug," she said. "Sometimes just a word of encouragement gives someone the strength to get to the next day."
Donations are being collected at the Riverhead Country Day School at 165 Columbus Avenue in Stotzky Park, 631-727-3737.
After Reyes-Marin died, her family, desperately trying to raise funds to send her body home to Mexico, and Southampton. She was
But the road isn't easy for the young man trying to care for three small children and still hold a job. "It's very hard," Albidiz said Tuesday morning, already working at 7 a.m. The children are being cared for by a family member, he said.
Her children, Albidez said, were the most important thing in their mother’s life. “She loved being a mother,” she said. “She told me if anything ever happened to her, to take care of the children. She trusted me.”