Our area had been predicted to be almost directly in the path of Sandy as “she” came inland. Thankfully for us, it turned as it made landfall. Sadly though, several other costal areas were hit hard. You know all this already though, right? Right. Anyway…friends from college ended up being pretty badly affected by the storm, with over four feet of water in their first floor. Thankfully, their second floor was fine and they’ll be able to get everything straightened out fairly soon. (As I’m writing this, its now been 3 weeks since the storm came through, and the last I knew their appliances still hadn’t been replaced, although the drywall and painting was finished and they’d shoveled their floor and sanitized it. Yes, I said SHOVELED it.)
Anyway, we had talked to the kids about being prepared for the storm…rode it out with them and actually mostly enjoyed the two extra days off school. The power never even went out, so all of our extra supplies were still just that…extra. After two weeks, there were so many in New York and New Jersey who still weren’t allowed in their homes or didn’t have homes anymore. While there were LOTS of trucks headed to those areas, we decided to show the kids what will hopefully be a life lesson – how to help someone in need. Over a WEEK, we collected things that were on the current “most needed” lists from several shelters, and with our friend’s help we were able to deliver an entire pickup truck load of “stuff” to the FEMA/Red Cross collection site in Staten Island, near to St. Joseph By The Sea. The FEMA site put our little truck to shame.
The first picture is the load that came home with us from the kids’ school. There was enough room for Blondie and for me…but that is IS. We were filled to the roof….AMAZING!
It was almost otherworldly to drive through some of the affected areas (which you had to do in order to get to the drop off site), including blocks and blocks of row-type condos and homes with “Restricted Use” signs. Many still weren’t able to get into their homes at all, and some homes weren’t even THERE anymore.
For all those who helped us to collect all the things we were able to take to the collection site, a HUGE “thank you.” Hopefully its something the kids will remember as a lot of wonderful people pulling together for families in need. I truly expected maybe a garbage bag or two in addition to the few coats and things that we had….certainly not an entire truckload. And in a WEEK. It was pretty stinking cool, and INCREDIBLY humbling. Our friends were grateful to know that others care. THEY were trying to get as many things together as they could for others, even as they cleaned up their own mess…it was AWESOME. No matter your belief system/religion, there are truly some great people in the world, and truly abundant blessings. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!