I think that you know that I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY but I now live and work in New England. During Hurricane Sandy my old neighborhood in Brooklyn was severely damaged. My company responded by raising over $5,000.00 from the employees and then a match form the company that allowed me to buy much needed supplies (generators, heaters, fuel, wood, cleaning supplies, and other items in short supply in the greater NY area) and drive them down using the company truck.
Here is the email that I sent to the employees & management of NECS in response to their generosity, in this great time of need.
To All Who contributed,
I wanted to take a minute to thank each of you who contributed to the Hurricane Sandy relief effort and tell you a little about my trip and the difference that your gift has made. My son Chris and I loaded up the NECS Box truck with supplies and headed down to Brooklyn, NY on Saturday. Thanks to Charlie for allowing me to use the truck. We had generators, heaters, heat pumps, kerosene, and gasoline (in approved containers), 2 cord of wood, cleaning supplies and implements including mold control, warm clothes, blankets, first aid supplies, batteries, flashlights, & 10 large cans of coffee (The Volunteer Fire Dept was in desperate need for their aid station).
We arrived in Brooklyn about 7PM. Driving in to Gerritsen Beach was a little eerie as the only lights in the neighborhood were from large interstate type construction flood lights that the city had put up so it would not be completely dark. It took 8 people 3 hours to unload the NECS box truck. We were able to provide electricity and heat for a number of families, one with a new born baby. Before leaving I stopped by the Gerritsen Beach Volunteer Fire Dept and made a cash donation to the community with the left over cash that I was not able to use to buy supplies. They told me that it would come in handy as many people have not been able to make it back to work yet, due to the loss of cars, and just trying to keep their homes in a livable condition, not a small task.
I drove back home late Sunday morning, after touring the neighborhood and seeing firsthand the devastation caused by Sandy. But I also saw hope and the indomitable spirit that I learned growing up there. I saw neighbor helping neighbor, and the community helping those who could not help themselves. A crew of men helped the parents of a girl I grew up with dig 5 feet of sand out of his house that Sandy deposited there. Another group of men gutted 3 houses basements in one day for elderly residents who could not do it on their own.
Everyone I spoke to asked me to thank you for your generosity. Today we are not Red Sox and Yankee fans, just Americans helping Americans through difficulties that we all hope none of will ever have to endure again. The greatest thing about NECS is the good people that work here. So they thank you, and I thank you for your overwhelming generosity. When you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner this year, know in your hearts that there is a neighborhood in Brooklyn that is thankful for you!
PS: I drove back one passenger short, as my son, Chris decided to stay on and do what he could to help. I am very proud of him for stepping up and jumping in.