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North Bergen resident receives heartfelt letter from a stranger



A week before the beginning of the holiday season North Bergen resident, Mrs. Toni Ann Rodriguez of 75th Street, received a heartfelt letter from an anonymous person. The letter thanks Mrs. Rodriguez for a bench she built in front of her house.

The letter is from a person who says they have had over 30 major operations and was left with the inability to walk for 9 and half years. The person says the bench is“a blessing” and “kind and thoughtful” gesture.

To: Homeowner -

I know you do not know me but I have a paper and pen on me, in my tote bag. I just want to say that this/these “2 benches” you have here, is such a very kind & thoughtful thing to do here, next to the sidewalk on your property. What a blessing it just was for me!!! A place to site down and rest my legs. I’ve had 32 major operations and have not walked at all for 9 1/2 years and then 7 more years “no weight bearing” - “hopping” on one leg, on crutches. The pain is execrating when I walk.

Thank you for providing this seat so I can give my legs (& pain) a little rest.


“[My mother] built this bench, it has never been vandalized, her décor has never been stolen or tampered with...All types of people sit here; students, teachers, elderly, parents with children, people of all races, all ages, all religions, sexualities & genders have found rest on these benches.” says Desarae Rodriguez, daughter of Toni Ann. “In our home, we don't build walls, we don't push people away and look at the magic it brought forward.”

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