2012-12-21 / Community

Secret Sandy Hosts SFDS Holiday Party

Secret Sandy, an online gifting site hosted a large holiday party at St. Francis de Sales Church last weekend, the culmination of a project that began shortly after Super-storm Sandy devastated the Rockaway peninsula.

Co-founders Joy Huang and Kimberley Berdy created Secret Sandy, where donors can give anonymously by accessing the wish lists and needs of families through Amazon.com.

The concept was born days after the storm when Huang volunteered at St. Francis de Sales parish in Belle Harbor, one of the wrecked New York City neighborhoods on the Rockaway peninsula.

"After seeing the devastation, there were piles of cars just dead or in the middle of the street," said Huang. "I started asking myself how can I help? How can I help just one person? Two people? And then it spread."

Huang noticed inside the church there were donations of diapers, bleach, batteries and other bare necessities to clean up homes and take care of immediate emergencies.

"People just gave and gave and gave," said Huang. "We wanted to make sure that generosity extended though to the holidays."

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, Huang and Berdy met to brainstorm a gift-giving idea. Huang realized that many families did need the essentials, but said "kids still need to be kids."

Together, with their friends, Berdy and Huang created the website for Secret Sandy and launched the site the day before Thanksgiving. So far, the site has 2,100 registered volunteers and over 850 children and families who have asked for post- Sandy help this holiday season. Donations have come as far as the Netherlands.

Pictured, photographs from the Secret Sandy holiday party.

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