Waves For Water, a world-wide humanitarian relief organization, came to the Peninsula originally to help with first responder assistance and rubble removal and ultimately with rebuilding efforts. They also brought a fully equipped mobile kitchen where they served up chef cooked meals to residents. Many who were still living without heat or walls appreciated a delicious hot cooked meal. Hurricane Sandy brought many volunteer groups, large and small, to the Rockaways and spawned many homegrown efforts to aid those in need.
Months later many were still devoting their time and resources to helping. Recognizing that Rockaway’s recovery will be a long term process, many still are.
Captured here are some of the individuals and organizations that took it upon themselves to help over the past few months.
On Rockaway Beach Boulevard Giovanni and Joe from Emanuel Baptist Church of Elmhurst/Woodside and Tom from All Nations Baptist Church in Woodhaven supply coffee and food on a chilly Saturday morning. Elsewhere this group of volunteers from various churches offered woman’s prayer groups, children’s programs and food pantries. Photos by Dan Guarino
The James family started their efforts just after Hurricane Sandy, within sight of the burnt out stores along Rockaway Beach Boulevard. They still set up once a month in front of their aunt’s Beach 114th Street home to bring themed home cooking, warm beverages, caring and good cheer to their Rockaway neighbors.
Pastor Robert Ursino of the Church Assemblea Christiana in Brooklyn, and Jennifer Emmanuel provided warm food, sandwiches and hot chocolate near the Waterside School. Their group, in conjunction with others gave donated heaters, blankets, slippers, coats and Bibles. They also came to listen. Said one volunteer, “People come out to talk and share their experiences.”