We were lucky. Hurricane-turned-superstorm Sandy blew through our area and we were OK. Unfortunately, not all of our fellow New Yorkers were so lucky. We’ve seen the images from New York City and New Jersey, and we know those people are feeling sadness, anger and tremendous loss. We know. We’ve been there.
It shouldn’t have surprised any of us when people here wanted to help. I was happy to lend a hand when Sue Darling and Crystal Artis, among others, began collecting supplies to bring downstate. Obviously other people felt the same way, as the response has been huge. Seemingly endless donations that have been coming in from individuals, businesses and organizations, and all I can say is, “Wow.”
I haven’t even mentioned how our local fire departments have gone downstate to help, nor all of the local support that has poured in to the Red Cross and other organizations.
And that’s when it sank in: I love this community. I love the people who live here. I love it all.
In this time of high tension and low spirits, it is heartwarming to know that I am surrounded by some of the kindest, most generous people I have ever known. They are helping people they don’t know and will probably never even lay eyes on. They took time out of their lives and money out of their pockets to assist those who will never know who to thank. And they did it without question, because it was the right thing to do.
I can’t express how grateful I am to have been able to help, and how happy I am to know that unsung heroes like them are still out there. And most of all, how incredibly proud I am to live here, in the little community with the great big heart.
Dorene E. Ireland