This is the response of Staten Islanders to Sandy and the nor-easter.
A lifelong Staten Island resident, Gennaro, is recruiting volunteers for the local Brown Cross and the Gateway Rotary Foundation to organize supply posts and dispatches along the island. So far, they have an estimated 2,000 volunteers, many contractors, who are taking matters into their own hands by fixing homes, draining basements, and clearing debris.
We are not leaving our properties for other people to rebuild. There is nowhere for these people to go. You have to rebuild quickly. We got to get back up.
This is private citizens and private enterprise acting first. Government has a role, but it must come second.
Indeed, the promised Federal and state help has been notably absent from Staten Island—even that second-place role is going unfulfilled. Without making judgments on the Federal or state agencies, they will always be late to the crisis relief and recovery effort. Government performance on Staten Island simply emphasizes the necessity, as well as the morality, of local community response first and promptly. Only those on the scene can act quickly.
These folks could still use lots of help, though.
Gennaro says they are in need of building supplies—not food—and private donations that can go directly to families. He guarantees 90% will go directly to buying warehouse and building materials. Things like electrical panels, circuit breakers, sheet rock, roofing, boilers, etc.
You can contribute here:
- donate building supplies via to Gateway Rotary Foundation-Brown Cross. 463 Mill RD 10306 e-mail Silvertapers@gmail.com
- Funds via https://www.fundraise.com/sandyrelief or checks to the Gateway Rotary Foundation-Brown Cross to PO BOX 50168 Staten Island NY 10305.
It’s true that actually being in New York (and the fiancainl district more specifically) really brings home the enormity of what took place in 2001. When the events first started unfolding, as a still-naive 17 year old I didn’t even know what the World Trade Centre was it was a landmark that had never come onto my radar.While it was obviously shocking, it was still impossible to properly relate to. When the London bombings happened in 2005, then I began to understand that feeling of invasion and attack (despite being nowhere near London and knowing nobody who might be caught up in it).Visiting New York in 2006, however, really brought it home. Even 5 years on there was an atmosphere’ possibly self-generated, but nevertheless tangible that helped contextualise the pictures that had become so familiar on television, and yet still so foreign. So I can imagine how real it must still have felt a further three years after, and how it must still feel now too.