Community Pulls Together To Participate in Sandy Clean-up Efforts
More than two weeks after Hurricane Sandy ravaged through New Jersey, the expansive wreckage is a sorrowful reminder of the thousands of people who lost their homes and belongings. The damage is more pronounced in some areas more than others, but I think we can all agree that the entire state felt the effects of this monumental super storm. And as a state, it’s amazing to see the show of support and unity of the hundreds of volunteers that have shown up to aid in the clean-up efforts.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, a number of groups, organizations and individuals are contributing money, food, clothing, time, and energy to help suffering families repair their broken homes.
Union City Mayor, Brian Stack together with Jersey City Councilman Steve Fullip are distributing 25,000 turkeys to people in Union City and Jersey City this year as a joint project. Similar projects with a smaller scope are taking place in the City of Newark and elsewhere in the Garden State.
Nat Candido, a Staten Island native, started a project following the hurricane that he aptly titled “Operation Shove It Sandy.” The grassroots effort has extended to New York and New Jersey, and volunteers have gone door-to-door in the most ravaged areas delivering food, water and other supplies. At the Sea Bright Firehouse, restaurant owner Chris Wood has set up a line of grills that enable him and string of volunteers to feed more than a thousand people affected by the storm. Each day, Sandy victims, out-of-town workers, emergency personnel and police officers can have access to a hot meal while clean-up efforts continue. The volunteers are also accepting donations to continue purchasing food and other supplies for local residents and to help rebuild the hard-hit borough.
The Occupy Sandy movement has also been effective in targeting the specific items that families and businesses need to overcome the devastation of the storm. Operating in both New York and New Jersey, the volunteer channel has developed an effective communication network that enables it to reach out to donors and distribute supplies to the neighborhoods most heavily impacted by Sandy. For example, many families and companies have been generous in supplying food, water and blankets, but many families are lacking other important items, such as baby formula, diapers, mops, toilet paper, toiletries and medicine. These expansive networks have done a tremendous job in anticipating and collecting the overlooked needs of thousands of New Jersey residents.
In addition, many people are coming out of the woodwork to apply for jobs directly related to clean-up efforts, in areas such as general disaster clean-up, forklift operations, distribution of food and construction work.
When these types of disasters hit, victims may not only lose their homes and belongings, but also their peace of mind. It says a lot about America that there are so many people out there, both New Jersey residents and out-of-towners, who are willing and happy to put their lives on hold to help a community overcome a crisis.
Everyone have a safe and very happy Thanksgiving,