A Firsthand Account of #Sandy: Americorps Fridays

Note from #stlredcross: This post comes from Jason, one of nine Americorps members & one of over 60 disaster relief workers from the Region, who were deployed to New York and New Jersey to assist with Superstorm Sandy relief efforts.  Through words and images, check  out #Sandy from his point of view.

By Jason, Disaster Response Americorps Member

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Often times, all we see in the media after a disaster are images of destruction and sadness. Superstorm Sandy devastated thousands of people along the East Coast, but out of the sadness rose a sense of humanitarianism unseen during times of prosperity. Often times the media does not tell stories regarding the selfless acts of everyday citizens after disasters. I truly believe that the most powerful tool for recovering from a disaster is the tireless efforts of volunteers and citizens.

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The main constant in any disaster is our society’s ability to unite to help those in need. I have repeatedly seen the incredible level of selflessness shown by individuals in time of crisis, whether it was neighbors cleaning up debris on my family farm after a severe thunderstorm or the entire city of Fargo uniting to build sandbag dykes along the Red River to prevent flooding. The recovery efforts after Sandy were no different.

During my time in New Jersey with the Red Cross, I was privileged to work with some of the noblest people I have ever known. I met Pat and Lance, two college students who drove all the way from Florida just to help wherever they were needed. I also met Isabella, a 10 year-old who convinced her family of four to sacrifice their Sunday by driving
three hours to help distribute supplies to victims in Atlantic City. And finally, an anonymous man who paid for a complete stranger’s cab fare so he could get to an emergency shelter for the night. None of these individuals wanted any type of attention or recognition for their valor, but instead did these things out of the kindness
of their own hearts.

I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who gave their time and resources to help those in need after
Hurricane Sandy. I hope we all can take comfort knowing that there will always be people like Pat, Lance, Isabella
and the anonymous man out there willing to help the next time disaster strikes.

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