Raising four young boys in a house less than three blocks from the ocean, Kim Greengus enthusiastically admits that they loved the water. The family had been living in their Long Beach, Long Island home for nearly 20 years when Superstorm Sandy hit.
During Sandy, the same water the children had cooled off in the prior summer now flooded the family home with nearly four feet of water. In the wake of the storm, Kim Greengus, along with her husband Todd and four children, were left with almost nothing and forced to relocate to a hotel. Today, a grant given by the American Red Cross to the Disability Opportunity Fund is helping them make a full recovery from the storm’s damage.
“It’s been a life saver,” said Greengus. “I remember after the storm, I didn’t even know where I was going next. I always felt on edge.”
The Greengus’s oldest son, Bobby, 12, suffers from severe autism, and the family’s close relationship with the organization Autism Speaks ultimately helped them connect with The Disability Opportunity Fund.
In September 2013, the Long Island-based organization was awarded a $60,000 grant by the Red Cross to aid families with disabilities in long-term recovery efforts. Since then, it has been providing Sandy affected families with services such as individual counseling, assistance in locating possible living accommodations and advice on rehabilitation to make dwellings handicap-accessible. This July, the Red Cross awarded a second grant of $57,800 to The Disability Opportunity Fund to allow the organization to continue providing much-needed services to disabled people still recovering from the storm.
The Disability Opportunity Fund was able to locate a rental house for the Greengus family, and is currently helping them navigate resources to rebuild their Sandy-damaged home.
And for the Greengus’, the Disability Opportunity Fund has become much more than just a helping hand; it has become a part of their family. “It’s definitely been guidance for me, because this is all new to me,” Greengus said. “There’s definitely light at the end of the tunnel now.”
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/li or visit us on Twitter at @LIRedCross.