I like to think most people rise to the occasion and do good when given the chance. What is it about a crisis that brings out the neighborly love in others? It’s a nice thing to see and experience.
We lost power for 7 days during the hurricane, but had a portable generator to help us manage. Unfortunately it didn’t heat the house or hot water, so our wonderful neighbor and friend welcomed six of us, on a regular basis, to her bathroom. I’m a wimp when it comes to cold showers. She’s one who is genuinely nice, but still…sharing the bathroom with six additional people takes a good heart.
Another good friend of mine organized a volunteer day last week at Staten Island. We loaded up cleaning supplies Fairfielders had generously donated and headed down for the day. My husband joined us and two hours later we found ourselves in a devastated neighborhood where a huge grass roots effort was taking place. There were volunteers everywhere, doing everything they could to help these unfortunate homeowners get through the day. We worked side by side with employees of a start-up company from New York City, cleaning up oil-soaked muck in the yard of a house. Inside was even worse as we pulled wet sheetrock from walls and put the contents of the house on the curb. The streets were piled 5 to 6 feet high with garbage as people cleaned out their homes.
It was like this everywhere, up and down the streets, it seemed no house had been spared. There were people everywhere, some cleaning out houses, some passing out hot chocolate, others making sure homeowners knew which shelters were opened that night and where they could get food. The National Guard was in full force, working side by side with homeowners and volunteers. I found this little gnome Santa in the yard of a home, buried under a lot of dirt. Somehow, putting him on the wall with his lantern made me think things will eventually get back to normal, but it will take a long time and a lot more people rising to the occasion. We need to continue to do so.
Here’s a link to more volunteer work going on in Staten Island. http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/11/staten_island_hurricane_volunt.html