Months after Sandy’s landfall, the Red Cross is still lending a hand.
While most of the country is focused on egg hunts and baskets of goodies this weekend, many people in New York and New Jersey whose lives were impacted by Hurricane Sandy are still living in very tough conditions and the American Red Cross remains in the area lending a hand.
Months after Sandy stormed into neighborhoods, Red Cross workers are helping people with food, emotional support and long term assistance. Caseworkers are helping people get help with home repairs, rent, utility deposits and finding social service programs.
An average of 30,000 meals and snacks are being distributed every day in New York to help people in the hardest hit areas. This includes a program in which the Red Cross is supporting community food banks to make sure those who need help get it.
CONEY ISLAND Red Cross workers are distributing hot meals and grocery boxes on Coney Island. One resident taking advantage of this help is Amadou, who came to New York more than 17 years ago from Senegal, West Africa. In his home country, he was familiar with the work of La Croix Rouge as the Red Cross is known in Senegal. Here he is heartened to see the Red Cross at work, helping disaster victims in America too. “This is very nice, what they do over here,” he said as he scanned the line of volunteers serving hot meals on a chilly March day.
The resident lost his job as the result of Sandy and is now focused on finding new employment. The continuing presence of the Red Cross on Coney Island has meant Amadou is able to get a hot meal or grocery box every day. “We’re very happy for what the Red Cross does here on Coney Island”, he says.
BAYVILLE, NEW JERSEY Brian Tilton, his wife and four young daughters lived in Bayville, New Jersey when Sandy threatened and they evacuated as the storm neared. Sandy brought more than four feet of water crashing through the family’s home, destroying everything they owned. The insurance covered structural damage only, not content. For the next month the six of them lived upstairs with their in-laws waiting for heat and hot water repairs. “The hardest part was tracking where the assistance could come from,” Tilton said. The family called the Red Cross in early March and caseworkers began to help.
The family was about to purchase a home in the Brownsville area near Fort Dix. Red Cross caseworkers arranged assistance for furnishings in the family’s new home. “We really have nothing to pack for the move, everything was destroyed,” Tilton said. “The Red Cross was very understanding and quick. We received our furniture assistance by today and my wife was so happy she called me at work to give me the good news.” The family purchased their new home this week and will now have home furnishings thanks to the generous support of the American people.
LARGE RESPONSE The Red Cross response to Hurricane Sandy is the largest disaster response in the United States in more than five years. Since Sandy made landfall, the Red Cross has: