Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Through the Storm

Empty streets of my town, hours before Sandy hit
As I'm sure most of you know, the Northeast was rocked by the devastating super storm Sandy, last week. If you were in Sandy's path, I hope you're safe! Though I didn't suffer much damage at all (only lost power for 2 nights), I know that the loss is very real.

Down trees in my neighborhood.
I spent 2 days making calls and driving to shelters, offering donations and my time. However, it was impossible for me to do so and I was so frustrated. Then, a friend of mine sent me a link from the City of Hoboken's website saying they were welcoming all volunteers. So, on Saturday, a friend and I drove out to Hoboken to volunteer! We spent a couple hours going door-to-door, checking for people, to see if they needed medical attention, hot food, etc. Then we spent about 3-4 hours sorting all donations so they could be distributed or sent out to shelters.

Tons of donations!
Walking around Hoboken, after we were done volunteering, it was heartwarming to see how the community comes together in the midst of a disaster -

Charge your phone and grab some chocolate!
Volunteers picking up garbage.
"Save your food on our BBQ"

We saw a group on strangers, charging their phones on the side of the street, playing "Apples to Apples". So, we decided to join them! These experiences are so priceless!!

While we were walking around, talking to some locals, we had an interesting conversation with a guy - He said to us "I got up today and didn't even shower. Just left and went to the city. I can see how people just start to give up and lose it." He was referring to the fact that at that point, most of Hoboken was without power and it was virtually empty because residents had left. Eerie, huh?

It's the resilience and the sense of community that's going to help us get through the devastation caused by Sandy. It's really important, however, for us to help out as much as we can - whether it's through donations or volunteering, or both. I, for one, am really looking forward to volunteering over the next weeks/months!

How did Sandy affect you?