Last Sunday, we started what can only be described as a blitzkrieg clothing collection for those people in the outer boroughs of New York City and New Jersey whose lives were completely turned upside down by Hurricane Sandy…Sandy came and went and in her wake, left hundreds of thousands of people stranded and paralyzed in a wave of destruction I certainly had never seen the likes of. Can any of us imagine what would have happened if the storm had been a Category 4 or 5? She came and she left and so many of us were completely taken off guard by what would ensue over the next twelve days.
No one was prepared for the destruction. No one was prepared for the prolonged loss of power. And truly, no one was prepared for the ground swell of kindness and generosity that followed. Our clothing collection spread from our group to others, a word of mouth event that resulted in the collection, sizing and sorting of hundreds and hundreds of bags of clothing for babies and children and ‘tweens and teens and adults in all sizes and age groups. People who had lost power, too, counted themselves lucky that the roof over their heads was still intact. They went through their closets and gave. They stood on long lines at COSTCO and bought diapers and formula, wipes and batteries. They gave. They responded to Facebook pleas from us here in New York and they sent their contributions through the mail from places as far away as California and Wsconsin, Arizona and Massachusetts. They gave.
Our living room filled with bags and boxes. Our front porch was always filled by the end of each day of gifts from the anonymous donor who simply responded to the call within themselves to help.
Apartments in Manhattan became dropoffs. Last Sunday, in an effort to turn the disappointment of many who had trained to run the New York City marathon and couldn’t because of the storm, this “small group of committed citizens” held a fundraiser instead and brought clothing and goods and we filled up more space.
The collections continued. We knew it was for a limited time, but we gave it our all and yesterday, in all the boroughs and here in Westchester, we took what you had selflessly given us and distributed those gifts. A miracle was created.
You did it. You gave from your hearts and you gave silent thanks that your family and friends are safe. And from that very same place in my own heart, I humbly offer my thanks and continue the process of planning for our 23rd Annual Thanksgiving Dinner for the Homeless that we will hold here in Hastings-on-Hudson on Tuesday, November 20th.
When you sit around your Thanksgiving table in 10 days or so, I highly suspect that what you will be feeling on that day will be an unparalleled gratitude. Go with it. You earned it.
My deepest thanks.
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