It’s been nearly half a year since Hurricane Sandy, which affected our community and surrounding ones in ways from the massive destruction of trees, to the loss of two beloved young people, to the displacement of thousands of people, to the ruining of ovens as the team from Wheated attempted to open a new business–but recovery efforts still aren’t over.
Neighbor Janice Dean took leave from her job as a lawyer for the State for six weeks after the hurricane, helping national humanitarian organization Humanity Road and running the organization’s command center at St Francis de Sales School in Belle Harbor, Queens. The relief center provided hot food, clothing, medical assistance, and more to as many as 4,000 people a day.
As a result of her efforts, Janice was invited to the White House complex for a meeting with the FEMA Innovation Team (see above photo, where Janice is third from right, with other Humanity Road volunteers).
Hi Editors, as we approach the six-month anniversary of Superstorm Sandy I thought it might be good to remind the readers that Ditmas Parkers are still helping!
The blog has previously covered storm assistance efforts by DP residents and some of us are still going strong… Now that relief stations are closed down, I maintain a “docket” of needy individuals and families, and assist them by connecting them with appropriate aid programs, providing contacts to legal assistance groups, raising money or collecting donated items, and whatever other assistance I can figure out how to provide. My volunteerism started with the death of Jessie Streitch-Kest, which was so heartbreaking I got involved immediately trying to help others and their animals.
I am currently assisting a young single mother with two kids, a boy who’s 4 and a girl who’s 6, who have been displaced since the storm and who finally have new housing. They will finally be reunited with their two dogs, who have been in foster care since the storm. I have collected nearly everything they will need (another Ditmas Park family offered me their garage as storage awaiting moving day!) but I still need children’s books and toys, a television, twin-bed size sheets/ blankets, and dog beds. Moving day is May 1 and I’d love to have some books and toys for these kids to have in their new home the night they arrive — their new neighborhood (Ozone Park) is unknown to them and they will be switching schools — they have already not been in school consistently since the storm. Gift cards would also help!
If you’d like to help, contact Janice through her classified listing. And again, to everyone who helped and continues to help post-Sandy, thank you!