An old movie once said that there are 8 million stories in this city. On October 29th, 2012, when Hurricane Sandy struck, it seemed that all the stories were heartbreaking. Lives lost, homes destroyed, thousands left with little or nothing. To make things worse, city and state governments were no where to be seen.
The next day the stories began to change, from heartbreak to heroism. First responders saved lives, neighbors helped each other, and local charities stepped in for a paralyzed government. For this national charity, the greatest needs were suddenly in our own backyard. K.I.D.S. team members hit the ground running. And we were literally running, with no transit system or gasoline for cars or relief trucks, our staff and volunteers were forced to walk or ride bikes to respond to the disaster.
At one of our K.I.D.S. distributions in Coney Island, the blanket and water line was at least 200 people long. In the middle of that line was one mom who pulled aside one of our K.I.D.S. staff, away from her children, and she broke down crying. She needed to cry, but didn’t want her kids to see how scared she was. She was grateful not only for the blankets and water, but for everything the K.I.D.S. team could provide.
The outpouring of generosity was amazing. We could fill pages and pages in this newsletter of the lists of all of the companies who donated merchandise. There were also folks from around the country who made financial contributions. There were artists giving their time and talent to fundraise, Brownie Troops organizing product drives, employees conducting office product collections and then accompanied us to the impact areas to hand out the donations they just collected. The K.I.D.S. partner agencies who received and distributed the vast amounts of much-needed product were absolutely amazing – many of them and their volunteers had also been affected by the super-storm, but their spirit and determination were forces stronger than any hurricane.
Three months later, the work of rebuilding continues. Visit our website to find out how K.I.D.S. is
… helping kids from “Head to Toe” with donations from Skechers, Carters, and Toys R Us;
… coordinating Extreme Home Makeovers with charity partners and volunteers;
… rebuilding public and school libraries across New York and New Jersey with one million books from Scholastic.