Carlos Ortiz has never been one to stand aside and watch.
The Boston man has a history of jumping in to help: first as a firefighter in Hartford, and then as a spontaneous volunteer running a shelter when tornadoes ravaged western Massachusetts.
Superstorm Sandy was no different.
“I had just rooted myself in Boston and decided I wanted to do some volunteering,” Ortiz said. “Then Hurricane Sandy hit, and I wanted to help out in someway.”
Ortiz was one of many volunteers to come forward after Sandy devastated parts of the northeast, and he completed his training quickly. He was deployed to a shelter in New York on Nov. 26, and has been there since.
There, Ortiz has been providing security, doing casework and helping Spanish-speaking families get the services they need.
The experience has been rewarding.
“I’ve had some great moments, had some sad moments and have been frustrated as well,” he said. “It’s been a wonderful experience.”