Starting just days after Hurricane Sandy, our volunteers have been going door to door in hard hit areas reaching out to people affected by Sandy. They knock on doors and see what services and support residents need from the city and FEMA. In some cases, our volunteers are the first responders to reach residents since the storm struck.
Selma Erey is a New York Cares Team Leader. She’s led teams on New York Cares Day Spring & Fall, Love a Library Day, and school-related projects such as SAT Prep and more. Selma lives in the Rockaways and shares her experience with us:
I spent the night of October 28th and 29th at Star’s (her friend Deborah Star Reed is also a New York Cares volunteer residing in the Rockaways). That’s when the surge happened. The Atlantic Ocean and Jamaica Bay joined, with epic Nor’easter winds chasing the water inland. Fifteen feet of water came crashing through Star’s bay room door and filled her home (and mine too, though I did not see that first hand). She had a large boat dry-docked in her driveway that floated away. Her deck, pier, and basement were destroyed. My home may be totally wrecked. The first floor, sun room, garage, and laundry room were flooded. The garden ruined. The deck in front of Jamaica Bay was emptied of the teak furniture I had tied down as the surge rose way above the deck wall. The Honda CRV I parked in my driveway was submerged at first, then started floating. Now we are taking baby steps to put things back together. [See Selma's video here: http://www.youtube.com/
Thank you for your heart warming concern and offers to help. Providence is with us: Star and I are alive and well. Our homes and those of our neighbors suffered extensive damage. We are all on the mend, dealing with whatever it takes to put our lives back together. A very special comfort for me was to meet New York Cares volunteer canvassers who knocked on my door to inquire about my well being and needs. New York Cares caring goes right where it counts!
Due to the damage, many Rockaway students have missed class. So Selma’s asked for our help in putting together a Khan Math Room in Peninsula Library to help them catch up. Star hopes to start a music and theater project for kids. We’re on it – if we can help, we will.
We’re inspired by New Yorkers like Selma and Star who are doing so much to help others, despite their own hardships.
You can help people like Selma and Star in the Rockaways. Sign up now for a Hurricane Sandy relief project.
PS – Selma and Star were interviewed by NY1 just before the storm.