I’ve got a lot to say about surviving the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in varying degrees, but I won’t say it. Basically, I can’t. It would come from a place of having only lost power for 48 hours and submitting to intense survivor’s guilt post-Sandy.
It’s been so heartening to see doers doing. Again and again I’ve seen examples of people and businesses remembering that the true bottom line has to do with trying to make the world a friendlier place during extremely trying post-Sandy times.
I’m pleased to say that there are a lot of people who have made it their business to help others much less fortunate. Thank goodness for them!
Yesterday, with my quarter tank of gas (I just can’t idle in a line for gas if I can survive without it), I drove at a sensible speed down Bloomfield Avenue into Verona to drop off donations at Tia’s Food of Love. What a fantastic group of people!
A crew of employees, friends, and family were loading up a Tia’s FoL truck for the second time in two days to bring food, toiletries, clothing, and items to pass the time to shelters in Union Beach and San Clemente Parish in Matawan. Some had family who had been rescued from a roof during the storm, and one Tia’s employees lost his car thanks to Sandy, so he can’t get up to Verona to work or help out.
Via the Tia’s Food of Love Facebook page, the local business has been organizing donations and trips to places serving evacuees from Jersey Shore locations. The greatest needs were food, sanitary supplies and toiletries, diapers, water, first aid supplies, and batteries. Other items (and for those without power/tv, you know this) are things to help pass the time for both children and adults. Great ideas are NEW coloring books, NEW crayons, gently used books and magazines, and hobby supplies. According to the Facebook page and the volunteers, there is less of a need for clothing* right now.
A big thank you to great businesses and volunteers like these wonderful people! They are giving of their own time and money (gas to drive the van with supplies is “fueled” by monetary donations!) to help make living in a shelter more comfortable – or maybe I should say less miserable.
Keep your eyes open for opportunities to donate money and supplies as the weeks go on. There will be opportunities.
* I hesitate to say anything, but you know I have to. Giving donations to shelters and organized collections like this is AWESOME. However, please don’t use it as a time to clean out your closet of all the ratty summer clothes you no longer want. Or the old sports bras you never got around to washing last year. Or the Christmas decorations that no longer interest you. Seriously folks, people were leaving stuff like that! Volunteers have to go through the items, and time and energy is precious. If you wouldn’t accept it from someone else for YOUR children or YOUR sweet self, don’t donate it. Give a ten-dollar bill instead. To make a generous business have to rent a dumpster or pay for extra trash disposal because you can’t bear to just throw something away is just getting in the way. And, oh crap. There I go getting on my high horse again. Hi-yo Silver! Away!