Saturday, November 10, 2012

Help for Hurricane Sandy Victims

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Living in Queens, NY and on Long Island for 33 years, I've lived through and experienced many hurricanes in my lifetime, but none that impacted as many and created the devastation that Hurricane Sandy did. We prepared and got the necessary supplies for several days in preparation for the storm. Got tons of advice from my wonderful Facebook friends too.

Our lights went out around 6PM Monday night, October 29th and they did not come back on until Tues night of the following week. Unlike so many others, fortunately, we did not sustain any property damage. As luck would have it, I had driven home from my mother's house in Queens to vote. Hubby and I were debating if we would return to Queens due to the gas shortage and long lines. As I was returning home from the post office, I got a call that power had been restored. My joy was overshadowed by the images I finally got to see online of the devastation so many others had endured. We lost the contents of our refrigerator and freezer, but many lost their homes and loved ones.

It was just as I signed onto facebook that I saw my son had shared a link from his cousin, Mandy Bickerstaff. We've known her since she was a little girl, but had lost touch. She's now living in NYC. Along with several of her friends, they took it upon themselves to do something! They're providing hot meals, sandwiches, clothing and supplies to those hit the hardest by the storm. They're doing all this is her small apartment in NYC. Her story is so inspirational. I knew I wanted to help in some way, but with the gas shortage and distance between us, I didn't know what to do. Mandy started a blog about their work, UWSLoves. Took me a few days to figure it out. UWS=Upper West! She also has a facebook fan page, also called UWSLoves, which I hope you'll check out.

I decided to donate 100% of my bead sales to this wonderful cause. I wanted my money to go to the people directly rather than a big corporation, for obvious reasons and I knew that Mandy would make sure of that. I tallied up my sales total and was surprised and happy to see it add up to $136, which I'll be sending to UWSLoves. This is a very significant number in the Jewish religion. 18 stands for Chai, which is life. So, 136 is double Chai. Serendipity, or as we say in Yiddish, bashert!

I hope you'll find it in your hearts to give as well. Or if anyone has links to anyone in the food services industr, that might be willing to donate any food items that are sorely needed, please contact Mandy. Last week Serene Green, a farm from out east on Long Island donated 300 pounds of produce and through another connection the produce was driven into NYC via Hampton Jitney, who donated their services . She and her friends made some yummy looking dishes to feed those without power. It's so hard to see the images of the destruction! And sadly, there are still many without power that need our help.


Marlene Cupo said...

Bless her, you and all who are stepping up in so many selfless ways to help.

Lea Avroch said...

what I did was small potatoes compared to what she's doing each & every day.