ROXBURY, NJ – An online fundraising campaign was established today to help the family of a Port Morris mother of five who died suddenly Tuesday night.
The GoFundMe page hopes to raise funeral expense money for the family of 40-year-old Yessika Monge-Vaz, described by friends as someone driven to help others even though she and her husband, Pablo, were far from wealthy.
“She was just a very giving person,” said Lisa Millus, a Roxbury resident who noted that Monge-Vaz helped organize the Roxbury-Hopatcong Toy Drive on Facebook. “She was hard working and she doted on her children.”
Monge-Vaz and her husband have a 2-year-old son, a daughter in Nixon Elementary School, a son in Eisenhower Middle School and a son and daughter attending Roxbury High School, said family friend Christine Coons of Succasunna.
Coons said Monge-Vaz died at about 7:30 p.m. after telling her husband earlier in the evening she had a severe headache.
Sobbing as she spoke, Coons said she met Monge-Vaz through a Facebook page where people buy and sell items locally. “We became very close friends,” Coons said. “It started when I joined the group and I bought something from her.”
Coons said Monge-Vaz’s mini-van wasn’t running, preventing her from her performing her stay-at-home routine. “She was in need of a ride, so I offered to help her,” Coons said. “I would take her shopping. If the kids needed to go to a doctor I would take them and pick them up.”
She said the family sometimes had a tough time making ends meet on one paycheck, so Monge-Vaz would do what she could to supplement the income by buying and selling items online.
“I have five kids too,” Coons said. “The struggle is real. Even though she struggled herself, she would always run these groups where she would collect stuff and sponsor families for Thanksgiving, Easter or Christmas.”
Millus, who unsuccessfully ran for Roxbury School Board last year, concurred. “She was very active in the community as far as that’s concerned,” she said.
On the GoFundMe page, Monge-Vaz’s family also speaks about the woman’s generosity.
“She always found a way to help families and people who would genuinely need help and that's what's amazing about her,” says the page. “Through hard times she pushed through and always found a solution. This loss was so abrupt and rapid we all are so speechless.”
The donation page can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/yessika-mongevaz-funeral-expenses