Big Heart of Queens

Except for a day or two without electricity, the northern half of Queens suffered relatively little from Hurricane Sandy, but for two weeks people from Long Island City to Bayside have been doing what they could to help families in Belle Harbor and other communities devastated by winds, floods and fire.

In Bayside, Thomas and Irene Fennell filled their home with more than 100 bags of supplies, including toys, clothes, games and more that were sent to Breezy Point, where more than 100 homes burned to the ground during the height of the hurricane.

As she worked alongside family, neighbors and fellow members of Bayside’s Sacred Heart parish to load a truck, Irene said, “These people need our help. To think that they were left with nothing is so sad.”

A similar drive was held at St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Maspeth, where athletic director Mike Locascio reached out to local organizations and fellow athletic directors to collect and ship supplies.

Bayside sports bar C.J. Sullivan’s also collected supplies for storm victims. It is planning to host a bar crawl on Bell Boulevard Nov. 17 and another fund-raiser a week later.

In Long Island City, employees at the Purves St. Sculpture Center hosted a weekend-long supplies collection. Another donation event will take place on the weekend of Nov. 24 at Martin Luther High School in Maspeth.

We are moved by their generosity.

Volunteers Still Needed

The relief effort in Queens in the wake of Sandy has been impressive. Volunteers have given their time, but an organizer says more needs to be done.

“The No. 1 need is for volunteers,” said Alison Thompson, an organizer at Belle Harbor’s St. Francis De Sales Church. “If you’re not that strong, there’s plenty of work to be done organizing in here. If you’re able-bodied, we can use you outside cleaning up and going door-to-door.”

There are elderly still in the cold and dark who did not obey the mandatory evacuation order. They cannot travel to get the food, medical supplies and assistance they need.

Every day trucks come bringing water, food, and supplies, but more volunteers are needed to make certain the supplies get into the hands of those who need them.

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