New York and New Jersey have suffered tremendous effects from Hurricane Sandy. So much beach front property has been damaged. Boardwalks have blown away and broken apart. Homes have been destroyed by water damage, flooding, fire and smoke. It is so hard to see.
As a young child, I went to the Rockaways for vacation in the summer. I have a friend whose family has a home in Breezy Point and so does one of our Ursuline Sisters. I spent many of my high school, college and post college years at Long Beach, Long Island-family friends have a house out there. I have visited the Jersey Shore a number of times over the years. Each of these places holds a special piece of my heart. Memories of fun, sun, swimming, laughter, celebration, good food and drinks, and enjoying ocean breezes come to my mind when I think of each of these places.
I kept seeing all the devastation and sadness on the news and pictures on Facebook. So many places are collecting supplies and I was willing to get involved in sharing some of my resources. However, I also wanted to do more-I needed to do some activity.
While my alma mater, the College of New Rochelle was planning to do a Run for the Rockaways-so I decided to see if I could join them. They graciously welcomed me and I ended up driving my car out there to a firehouse. My car had about 20 cases of water in it. CNR brought out clothing, food, water, and cleaning supplies-All the donations filled two 15 seater vans, a Jeep and my car. So amazing to see.
So we headed on out there as a caravan-I was in the middle. It was about an hour drive. One of the students at CNR was leading the caravan in her Jeep. She and her family live out on Breezy Point so she knew places where we could bring our donations and she knew the shortcuts to get out there. Right before we drove, she was talking about good it felt to be bringing donations to those she knew-she commented that it was strange being both a victim and volunteer. After all her house was ruined by the water damage.
So we arrived there at the Firehouse where there were people to help us carry in the donations and I saw all the donations there and volunteers and people who were grateful for the donations. It was a very humbling experience and it reminded me of how fragile life is and how fortunate I am today.
I pray for all those affected by our weather lately. Yesterday, someone told me that there are about 35, 000 more unemployed due to the damage to businesses. More tough times ahead. However, even with all this sadness and tragedy, you still see the goodness of humankind-when you think of all the people providing donations and those organizing the supplies and helping people out. Let’s keep looking out for one another!!