November 5, 2012

Pulling together in Sandy's aftermath and Get up and Go

 Composite Sandy Comingtogether

The Kindness of Strangers:  Pulling together in Sandy's aftermath

A heart-warming collection of photographs and tweets has captured the myriad acts of kindness from the past week, as the hardships of Hurricane Sandy brought devastated communities across the tri-state area together.

From the Mayor of Newark inviting constituents into his home to charge their phones and watch DVDs to an East Village doctor offering free treatments and kids selling cookies to raise money for the relief effort, the stories encapsulate how, in their time of need, people were helping each other.
--
There have been so many altruistic acts during the storm and its aftermath that a Facebook page called 'Hurricane Sandy Acts of Kindness' has been set up, giving those who received help the opportunity to thank their saviors and share their stories.
--
One image shows Staten Island resident Emily Ellington on Friday as she handed out one of 40 pizzas to locals devastated by the storm.

Scores of restaurants including The Dutch in Manhattan and Lonestar Taco served up free food to the many residents who were left for five days without power, food or fresh water, tweeting the news to their followers.
--
Many of those who still had electricity offered up their power plugs so passers by could charge their phones and contact loved ones.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker used Twitter to invite Hurricane Sandy victims to his house to charge their electronics, watch movies, and even get a free lunch, warming the hearts of his constituents.

East Village doctor Dave Ores offered his services to anyone in need of help, posting on his tumblr, 'I'm open today if I can help anyone. Until 6pm Spread the word. Thanks. 189 east 2nd street btw A and B.'

And then there's just plain Get up and Go

Today, my husband witnessed a wondrous act of resourcefulness. A man with a horse trailer hitched to his truck was filling up individual 5 gallon jugs of gas in order to transport them back to New Jersey.

He went out into the wide world of American plenty that lies just beyond disaster. He didn't wait like a hopeless fool in a line of idling cars for gasoline that is rationed by the spoonful. His neighbors hired him because he had a big, gas eating truck, and gave him money and jugs and sent him to Lancaster County to go shopping. He brought back not only gasoline, but food, water, clothing, blankets, batteries, and other things they might need. Those people are heroes, because they used their God-given talents and brains and didn't go crying to the cameras, asking for the government to come and help.

Volunteers Flock to Disaster Areas, Overwhelming City Relief Centers

Surfers with shovels fanned out in the Rockaways in Queens, helping residents clear their homes of mud and sand. An army of cyclists strapped packages of toilet paper to their backs and rode into Belle Harbor, Queens. Children broke open piggy banks, bought batteries and brought them to the parking lot of the Aqueduct Racetrack and Resorts World Casino, where a police inspector and his family set up a donation center for blankets, bottled water and other goods.

Many New Yorkers graced with power and heat in their homes on Sunday found it difficult to sit still as images of homeless and desolate city residents filled their television screens. They streamed into the hardest-hit sections of the city, at times nearly colliding with other would-be volunteers and overwhelming city relief centers.

“It feels like we all had the same impulse: This is my city and I want to do something to help it,” said Esther Pan Sloane, of Roosevelt Island, who drove a carload of supplies from Jackson Heights to a post office on Rockaway Beach where food and clothing were being handed out.
Posted by Jill Fallon at November 5, 2012 11:34 AM | Permalink