Saturday, November 10, 2012

Roosevelt Island Hurricane Sandy Donations To The Rockaways Continue Tomorrow (Sunday) 8-9 AM In Front Of PS/IS 217

 Image of Roosevelt Islanders Collecting Donations For Rockaways last Sunday From Olya Turcihin

Reported previously on efforts by Roosevelt Island residents to donate and deliver necessities to people living in the Rockaways devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Received word yesterday from Karine Wong, who organized Roosevelt Island Hurricane donations and deliveries, that they are returning to the Rockaways Sunday morning with more essential supplies. From Ms. Wong:
Just so everyone is up to date the result of this week’s email, twitter and blog blast is as follows:

1) Sunday a whole bunch of people brought stuff to the meeting spot in front of PS 217

2) We collected 4 cars full of stuff + a 16 passenger van and trailer full of warm clothes and blankets

3) We delivered 4 cars full of supplies to a food distribution site at Redfern and Beach 12th St in the Rockaways

4) We had a little delay with the van – pending fuel supply – which was rectified when Owen went and waited in line on Tuesday

5) Wednesday, Owen and Kyle took the van and trailer to the Rockaways in search of a location in need

6) After several tries – a location was found…

Community and Family Head Start
41-05 Beach Channel Drive
Far Rockaway, NY 11691
Contact: Cynthia Cummings, Executive Director
Community Parents, Inc.
718.771,4002 x112

7) After a bit of back and forth and some coordination – the entire shipment of jackets, blankets and warm clothes was unloaded at the Head Start School

8) This is a Head Start program in an area hard hit by the storm and the school administration is part of the core of this community…they have reported getting numerous calls and txt messages from their families asking for help and a way to keep the cold at bay during the past few days…everyone in the community there is cold and hungry.

9) There is no doubt that this is a community that has virtually no safety net or ability to respond to an extraordinary event like our recent hurricane. This is an area where there is no insurance, no extra anything in the bank, no margin if things go wrong, no place to go when things go wrong and no one to turn to for help.

The school is in the middle of the Rockaway peninsula. The waterline in the school was at 6 feet high inside the school earlier this week.

See the pictures at the link following;

This school serves 111, 3 – 5 year old children and their families living in the area. There is a single custodian trying (alone) to clean up. Many families are without typical means of communication. Requests for help have even been coming in via txt messages to the school. The Community Parents program is developing a plan to communicate effectively with their constituents.

This is an area that has been very hard hit and has been largely unnoticed. They do not have power. They have very little resources. They need help. It will take a long time to recover, here is an idea to help things along and to keep things going…

1) We need 50 or 60 people to commit to a once a week process and donate a couple of items from a selection of 3 or 4 items most in need on a given week
a. What we mean by small is for example; a package of diapers, a package of batteries, a box of granola bars and so forth… essential items from a list things that we will circulate each week

2) We meet and collect everything on Sunday mornings between 8am and 9am

3) We deliver everything collected on Sunday or Monday (schedule depending) to the Head Start program for them to distribute (the custodian already told us he would come and open the place so we can drop things off…

4) We all commit to doing this weekly for the next several months – after all we can’t just help for a week and then leave them hanging…can we?

One thing is clear, they need help. Another thing that is clear is we are a community that has proven that we can help a little and make this work.

The idea is to make this as simple and direct as we can. Providing people with a chance to pitch in and spreading the responsibility among as many people as possible – everyone doing whatever it is that they can - but doing something. If everyone adds a little something to the pot no one person needs to add a large amount.

Each week a small contribution and maybe even a little time given too (we will need a couple of people and a couple of vehicles to help make the delivery every week).

Seems like we can accomplish this easily and make sure that a community that can help provides help for a community in need…

The suggested items for this week are;

Granola bars or energy bars - we have been told that hunger is a significant issue this week due to the way that the NYC food distribution program is going – food gets out but barely enough and after all it is kids we are talking about – when do they ever have enough to eat…

Baby wipes – not just for babies but everyone – there is no power and therefore no hot water in many of the homes in this area

Diapers – it is all families out there and they come in all ages and sizes

Batteries – without power the battery supply gets used pretty fast…

If you want to contribute financially to help develop communication systems go to

Donations can be made to:
Community Parents, Inc.
90 Chauncey St
Brooklyn, NY 11233
Ms. Wong adds today:
Just a quick reminder that we are meeting again tomorrow morning between 8 - 9 AM Sunday Nov 11 in front of PS 217 if you would like to donate or help delivering with us please come and join the fun.

FYI, tomorrow, we will be accepting:
Diapers/Pull ups
Granola bars and Energy Bars

Below is an update from Cynthia our contact in the Rockaways
Hello Roosevelt Island Family- Just wanted you to know how helpful the clothing distribution was today. See photos attached.

The items that parents told us they need are:

Inflatable air beds/mattress
Sheets to match size
Blankets (not enough)
Towels/ washcloths (new or gently used, please)
Rubber gloves, work gloves
Cleaning supplies/paper goods
Personal hygiene items
Diapers (various sizes, pull ups)

There is a family that lost their home to fire and evacuated in their car. They need to rebuild everything in their home.

The program needs to continue our efforts:
Garbage bags
Batteries (C and D)
Sterno/ food racks
Hand Sanitizer

We are blessed to have you help!- Cynthia
Here are images from the Rockaways provided by Cynthia.

More on Roosevelt Island residents efforts to help Hurricane Sandy Rockaway residents from earlier post.

Volunteers are also needed on Sunday between 10 AM - 1 PM to help clean up Roosevelt Island's Blackwell Park area.


Karine Wong said...

2 more FULL vans of donations will be delivered tomorrow morning in the Rockaways. THANK YOU again Roosevelt Islanders. It is very comforting to see that our community is standing strong. Next Donation run: SUNDAY NOV 18 in front of PS 217. 8 - 9:15 am.

Karine Wong said...

Check out our Facebook page at and "LIKE" IT in order to keep posted. Thank You

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