AMITYVILLE - Long Islanders put aside their Mother's Day celebrations to rally for the safe return of nearly 300 schoolgirls who were kidnapped weeks ago in Nigeria.

The rally coincided with other ones around the nation in demanding the radical group Boko Haram free the 276 girls.

At a special Mass in Bay Shore, people prayed for the kidnapped girls and their mothers. Then, members of the Christian Association of Nigerian Americans rallied in Amityville, singing, chanting and holding signs demanding the girls be returned to their families.

"How do you celebrate as a mother knowing that there are some mothers somewhere whose children are being held hostage?"  said Nwaka Nduka, who attended the rally.

Those in attendance said they hope the rally helps spread their message to free the girls and prevent similar incidents from ever happening again.