UNSUNG HEROES: Making Sure the Needy Have “A Blanket From Momma”

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Steve Moscatello in front of his delivery truck
Steve Moscatello in front of his delivery truck

Steve Moscatello’s delivery route for Carousel Cakes in Nanuet takes him through the streets of Manhattan, and the views sadden him.

“Driving at night, delivering cakes, I see a slew of homeless people,” the Piermont resident said. To keep them warm and ease their discomfort as best he could, and to honor the memory of his great-aunt Lucia Sandolo Iodice, Moscatello devised to “collect blankets and sleeping bags and find them a home,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “A Blanket From Momma will pick up and deliver to needy people.”

Lucia Sandolo Iodice was 101-1/2 year old when she passed away August 12.

A Blanket From Momma is not a company or a business, Moscatello noted, when asked about the namesake of his project. “She was an amazing woman who taught me a lot, and one of the things she taught me was helping people. This is how I’m paying her back: by starting blanket drives because she wanted to make sure everyone was comfortable.”

“My cousin Steve loved my mom, and she loved him like a son,” Emilio Iodice, vice president of Loyola University Chicago and director of its John Felice Rome Center, said of Moscatello. “She had a big heart and was always thinking of other people, and he wanted to do something in her memory.”

Warm-hearted Lucia Iodice loved to help others
Warm-hearted Lucia Iodice loved to help others

Iodice said his mother came to the United States in 1937, leaving her sister Giovannina in their native Italy, detailed in his book Sisters. One sibling raised two children and ran a business; the other saved orphans, helped war widows get pensions and raised four children.

“She and my father sponsored people after the war and gave them food, clothing, jobs, and they never asked for anything in return,” he said. “She left a positive mark on their souls.”

Moscatello joined Piermont Fire Department’s Empire Hose Company after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. “I saw what they went through to help our community, and I wanted to help too,” he said.

“He’s a good guy and passed Firefighter 1 (the basic level needed to join the department),” Piermont Fire Chief Danny Goswick said.

During the six months he’s worked at Carousel Cakes, Moscatello has made a favorable impression on co-owner David Finkelstein. “He picks up our truck in the middle of the night to deliver our products to restaurants, gourmet delis and food services” in Brooklyn, Westchester, Queens and Northern New Jersey. “He’s a hard-working guy.”

With blessings from his employers, Moscatello will deliver them in the Carousel Cakes truck. “He is always looking out for those who don’t have,” Finkelstein said “You can tell by the way he treats everyone,” Finkelstein said. “We’re pleased to have him for us and proud of the effort he’s putting in.”

Blankets can be dropped off at Carousel Cakes, 5 Seeger Drive in Nanuet, from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or at the firehouse, 554 Piermont Ave. Mondays between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Those wishing to donate can contact Moscatello at jokers819@aol.com or his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/moscatello?fref=ts.

“Community is what it’s all about,” he said.

Send your idea for Unsung Heroes to editor@rocklandcountytimes.com

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