I live in New Jersey. Nuff said as to what have you been doing recently. When people ask me how we made out in the storm, I feel so guilty saying we lost power for ten days and had no real damage to speak of, a downed arbor, broken gate, etc. More an inconvenience than a catastrophe. Because we were the lucky ones. Just minutes or miles away, we see images of mass destruction.
I have neighbors only houses away that had their homes destroyed. A tree dropped in the middle of a roof, smashing in the upstairs. As they sat downstairs, (where they would have had dinner with family, the marshal said, “get out of this house it isn’t safe” so they left. And moments later, the tree continued down into the dining room. Disaster avoided, but leaving devastation that will take months to fix so they can return home.
I have many neighbors with the same problems and wreckage. So yes, I had no hot water and heat and lights, but what the hell… now I’m back to my normal routines.
So what do ya do? Lots of people feel the same way. We all want to help, but did not know where to begin, do I donate money, time, and to who, there is so much devastation everywhere on the east coast. Families in need, pets lost, injuries, even death. It’s horrible. This picture was homes standing.
Now, my sister and brother in law live on Staten Island. And they too were lucky and only lost power for so many days and had no damage to their property. But my brother in law and both his sons are cops. And my sister in law has worked with the catholic schools there for years. And the things they’ve seen, the stories they’ve told, and the pictures they showed are heart wrenching. I think people didn’t realize what was going on over there on this little island. I heard about the horrifying stories coming out of that neighborhood not only from them but from fellow animal rescuers, relatives and friends and neighbors of relatives.
One gal wrote about a friends family member swimming his way to safety when his home filled with 9 feet of water, homes leveled, bodies of people and animals being found..During the hurricane, I was very out of touch, no tv, a radio with batteries I was afraid to use up so I listened very little. No gas, so I went nowhere. I knew it was bad there, but not how bad. I had wonderful friends and neighbors that let us sleep over in front of their fireplace. I brought the old man, no not my hubby, my old dog. 14, old and pretty decrepit and huge, but his stinky butt was welcomed too! The hubby works for at&t and put in over 100 hours working that week, so I was pretty much alone. but with great friends it was easy!
But it seemed Staten Island was truly the “lost borough” of NYC. I know the shore suffered so, long island and omg, the rockaways. But only in the last day or so did people finally seem to realize what was happening on the forgotten isle of staten, seemingly isolated and alone in the storm. Now, the stories are beyond words, the loss of lives and people’s pasts and futures demolished, the island unrecognizable…
So usually my actions, and abilities as a comic are thrown in the mix for the animals of this world, abused, abandoned, shelters and rescues needing funds, transports needing drivers, home visits, whatever I can do. And I know pazoo, this great site I write for, has it’s groups and foundations they work with. But since I have a personal connection to Staten Island, I would like to pass this along in my blog.
My sister in law works for the archdiocese in NY. I have offered to do a comedy fundraiser for them, and I’m sure that will take place in the near future and I’ll keep ya all posted, and post it on facebook. But for now, she passed a letter on to me from the schools she works with. The principals are besides themselves with despair. So I am printing her letter and asking you to please pay this forward to anyone you know. They were hit very hard there by Hurricane Sandy. 17,000 homes were affected on Staten Island, most have to be condemned. The children lost their homes and with it all of their belongings including necessary school uniforms, shoes, school books, bags and supplies. They have been frantically trying to help them and give them a sense of safety and normalcy during their school day.
So here I am the little Jew asking for all of you to help them. Ain’t that the greatest! Cause we are all people and that’s the bottom line. Love, Light, and healing Energy to all of you after and during this trying time.
The following is the letter describing a program that they have put into place on Staten Island. I am not asking you to donate, (unless you want to just please spread the word and “pay this blog” forward.
The Catholic School community of Staten Island, New York has been blessed to receive offers of assistance from around the nation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The outpouring of prayers and support bolsters our spirit incredibly during this trying time.
Hurricane Sandy impacted our 24 elementary schools serving over 8,000 students – as well as our seven high schools, faculty, staff, and families – to varying degrees. Our principals continue to uncover the full extent of the storm’s damage on members of their school communities. The Staten Island Catholic Schools Office is compiling a list of the families and staff members who have suffered losses of homes, property, and livelihoods, as well as the needs of those affected.
In the storm’s immediate aftermath, we received an outpouring of supplies, clothing and medical help from various agencies and individuals. However, as emergent needs are now met and we move into a phase of protracted recovery, at this point our families require financial assistance as they work to rebuild their homes and their lives.
Appropriately, the Catholic Schools Office has established an account to accept monetary donations. This account will enable us to provide assistance to the families who have lost so much, yet wish to keep their children in a Catholic school, while also attending to their immediate needs.
We ask that you would extend your support by contributing to this account. All financial donations should be made payable to: The Staten Island Federation of Catholic School Parents.
Please direct donations to the attention of:
Zoilita M. Herrera, Regional Superintendent
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School Region of Staten Island
15 Lisbon Place
Staten Island, NY 10306
On behalf of all of our Catholic school students, families, teachers and administrators on Staten Island, I thank you. We are truly humbled by your generosity.
Zoilita M. Herrera Regional Superintendent