2013-02-22 / Letters

Why Stop Good Works?

Dear Editor:

Donations, recovery efforts, contributions, gifts, offerings, hand-outs, help and assistance are all common terms we have become very familiar with since Super Storm Sandy devastated the Rockaways on that fateful night of October 29th.

For many, the effects of the storm are still very real. As part of the recovery, Occupy Sandy has been an integral force and resource in the Rockaways. With their help, it was our good fortune to meet The Culinary Kids Day Camp. For the past month Chef Moses and Chef Rivera have been donating fresh organic produce to the Dayton Towers cooperatives.

Although we are among the fortunate to have heat and shelter, many residents lost personal items, but most importantly many worked locally and lost their livelihood. The weekly donations of free produce were a godsend to many who remain in need.

Residents were looking forward to this established assistance that was offsetting a small financial burden. The residents were grateful and eager to receive the produce, which is expensive and sometimes rare in our one and only supermarket.

These donations were put to an abrupt halt by the management of Dayton Towers. Suddenly drop offs for donations required “proof of insurance” and “proof of origin”. Since when in these recovery efforts have any donations been turned away or so closely scrutinized?

According to many other organizations, Dayton Towers could have received many free services, but we were passed by due to the hassles they would encounter from the majority of the Board of Directors and management. Of all the developments we had this great opportunity offered to us! We had established a great relationship with the chefs who offered impromptu recipes and willingly answered all questions about the produce. There was a warm feeling of unity and reciprocity, as neighbors began to leave the seclusion of their apartments for the small opportunity to see each other among friendly smiling faces.

Closing us off and shutting us out from the rest of the community is exclusionary and offensive. The gates that once separated us are no longer there, Sandy made sure it took care of that. We are more than 1,700 families who welcome our Rockaway community and recovery efforts.

Many thanks to The Culinary Kids Day Camp for all the FREE hard work you put in and for giving so much of yourselves.

MARIA LEGER

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