Like most families in Rockaway, our lives have been changed by Sandy. The time has come for me to publicly thank all of the organizations that have donated time and/or money to help us get back on our feet. Ironically it wasn’t the large international organizations like the United Way and the American Red Cross that provided recovery assistance in Rockaway, but local organizations. Some of these groups just seemed to materialize shortly after the storm, others, that were previously known, rose to the occasion.
I would finally like to publicly thank the following groups in particular, for helping to put our homes and our lives back together: Navillus, Mormons, Buddhist Tzu Chi, Team Rubicon, Rockaway Wish, Graybeards and the Friends of Rockaway. I realize that there were scores of other organizations that worked tirelessly in the weeks and months following the storm, but these are the groups which most touched our lives. I’d also like to acknowledge the hundreds of individual volunteers who would just show up to lend a hand any way they could. Some would knock on the door to drop off supplies and others served hot meals in the St. Francis warming tent or in the food trucks parked on the side of the road. One thing they all had in common was a smile and some encouraging words. We needed both.
I’m sure that I’ve forgotten some of the folks that have helped, but I admit that my recollection of details following Sandy is a bit cloudy. Maybe that’s why I am writing this letter now, before even more memories fade with time, to make room for more positive things to come. Sometimes it takes a disaster to remind us how lucky we are. So to all the individuals and groups who helped us, Thank You! You are Sandy’s silver lining.