We don’t typically write about past events, but Hurricane Sandy so enormously impacted our borough – and New York City as a whole – that it deserves extra attention.
First and foremost, our hearts go out to those affected by the storm; Sandy was especially devastating in vulnerable areas such as the Rockaways and Staten Island.
But the aftermath also illustrated something much more positive and affirming: the ability of the New York community to come together to support and provide for one another in times of greatest need.
Many local businesses – including LIC Market, The Yoga Room and Skinny’s Cantina – held donation drives to collect important items for residents without electricity and shelter. The Queens Kickshaw donated 100% of the proceeds they made one Thursday to the Red Cross for relief efforts. A group of locals involved with Occupy Sandy started a group called Astoria Recovers, which helped our neighborhood and organized rideshares out to the Rockaways to assist New Yorkers whom FEMA and the Red Cross had been unable to reach. This community response and outreach was beyond anyone’s expectations, and there is no doubt that compassionate people who gave their time and energy saved lives and made an unforgettable difference in the lives of those most hurt by this storm.
There are still more ways to help the victims of Sandy. Have a warm heart this holiday season and please consider the following causes:
1. Add Occupy Sandy Relief on Facebook. This group serves as a hub that stays up-to-date on where volunteers and donations are most needed. They organize volunteer efforts as well as rideshares daily.
2. Visit astoria.recovers.org. This group began as a way to offer relief to our neighborhood and now is focused particularly on the Rockaways. They are often in need of office volunteers at their Astoria location for online research, data entry, communications monitoring, answering phone calls, and web programming.