YONKERS, N.Y. – Westchester residents have been eager to help neighbors who didn’t fare as well in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Even as a second storm bore down on the area, volunteers and big-hearted donors kept up an outpouring of support that has been inspiring, said Abigail Adams, spokeswoman for the Red Cross in the Greater New York region.
“Whenever there is a major disaster, people always want to give back, and it’s always really heartwarming and inspiring,” she said. “There are a lot of people who want to help.”
Since Superstorm Sandy struck, the Red Cross has been operating emergency shelters around the region, including two in Yonkers, and helping New Yorkers recover. While the Red Cross doesn’t accept food or clothing donations, there are plenty of other ways to help, Adams said.
And there will be plenty of opportunities.
“This is going on for a long, long time,” Adams said.
Like Adams, Jim Killoran, executive director of Westchester’s Habitat For Humanity, said he too saw an upswing in calls from residents, wondering what they could do to help. Habitat has been sending teams into some of the hardest-hit areas to help with the cleanup as well as working in Westchester to help repair damaged homes.
“We’ve been getting a lot of calls from volunteers,” he said. “It is always nice to see.”
Yonkers firefighters have done their part, too, loading a pair of U-Haul trucks with supplies and heading down to the Rockaways in Queens to help some of the storm's most devastated victims.
“We want to take care of whoever we can take care of,” Ladder 71 firefighter Tim Sullivan said.
In addition, St. John’s Riverside Hospital is starting a “Supplies For Sandy” drive, collecting everything from work gloves and batteries to Advil and baby wipes.
The Volunteer Center for United Way is also accepting donations and asking for similar items.
“I just wanted to ask you to stress the fact that people should not send clothing or food,” Kevin McGarry, a member of the Glenham Fire Department, wrote on the United Way’s Facebook page. “We threw out hundreds of sandwiches and can barely walk through the fire house with all the bags of clothing.”