A year after Hurricane Sandy, millions of people are still trying to put their lives back together. Outwardly, the affected communities have done a tremendous job rebuilding. Some neighborhoods look normal, and the tourists returned this past summer.
But under the smell of fresh paint there’s still a lot of destruction, disappointment, and frustration.
The New York Times reported last week that the City of New York is evicting 350 hurricane evacuees from state-funded hotels. They’ll most likely end up in shelters. Thomas Reddington, who was evicted the first week of September from his hotel, is living in his car. The 65-year old returned from the Persian Gulf a month before Sandy struck.
A case in point is John Gelalia, a retired New Jersey firefighter. When Sandy hit, John saved countless lives and homes. In a twist of Karma, John’s home was saved. But everything in it–furniture, flooring, electricity and most of his personal belongings–was destroyed.
Homeless, John lived in a FEMA house shelter for as long as he could. But in March he returned to his gutted house where he’s lived ever since.
Waves for Water has taken a special interest in Sandy victims. The nonprofit’s efforts are usually focused on clean water projects in places like Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Haiti. But after Sandy struck, W4W launched a relief and recovery effort that continues today.
This week the focus is on John’s house. KIND is making a $10,000 donation to complete the renovation of John’s home. You can make a donation here.
A second way to help is to watch this short YouTube video on Waves for Water founder Jon Rose. You’ll learn about the larger mission of W4W, and for each viewing, KIND is donating an additional dollar–up to $5,000–to John’s renovation project. As of last night, the video had been viewed 2,900 times.
It takes years for communities to recover from disasters. Look at New Orleans and Haiti, and Colorado is just now uncovering the destruction left from last month’s floodwaters. Disaster and tragedy go hand in hand.