Rockaway report #3
It is late, and the snow has just stopped in NY. We were in Rockaway until about 6:30pm, and there were blizzard conditions – hopefully by now the storm has stopped there, too.
Update from Wednesday, Nov. 7th
1. Elections are over! Congratulations to Obama and all those who voted!
2. About 25 volunteers left from AYNY at 8:30am for St. Francis La Salle on 129 Beach in Rockaway, where we joined in their efforts to clear a gymnasium to prepare a warming shelter for the storm. By 4 pm that work was largely done, and by the time we left in the evening, people were already starting to pile in.
At 2-3pm our three remaining cars joined the canvassing team to go door to door to inform people of the evacuation that had been ordered by the Mayor’s office, and to locate elderly or sick people who could not evacuate on their own, or who could be brought to the warming shelter. The conditions of some of the elderly are heartbreaking.
While making a return trip to the homebound, we came across a family of 8, including three small children, 3-5 years old, who were trundling through the blizzard looking for a bus. We piled all 11 of us together in the car and brought them to the warming shelter, and then returned for the rest of their family – who sadly refused to leave their pitch black, freezing apartment. The rest of the evening till we left the Island was spent picking up people off the road and out of the snow.
3. Michael C. and his team were led by Pastor Ron to projects that have have completely no service or outreach whatsoever. No water, no food, no power. People are going to the bathroom out of their windows. They distributed all of their food in those buildings, and will return during the week and speak with the Pastor about how to begin getting them better support. The relief effort, while well intentioned, has no centrality that can be found.
4. Donations that have been dropped off at AYNY will be brought out tomorrow and Friday.
5. Dr. Mrinal came out at 2 pm and was promptly put to work – the National Guard brought him to go floor by floor in nearby projects. Thank you, Doctor!
6. OUR NEXT BIG PUSH: Saturday, November 10th. 10-2 pm. We will prepare ‘survival bags’ for the projects, and Saturday, November 17th, we will hold a thanksgiving lunch for 600-750. Volunteers needed to pack bags and serve food on both Saturdays! Please write to lisa: firstname.lastname@example.org (yes, I think she is the last person on earth to still have an aol account, we will work on that next week 🙂 or me: email@example.com
7. Supplies always needed – add in warm socks and ponchos, strong quality, please.
Industrial large black garbage bags
Heavy duty brooms
Clothes are not needed at this time
Thank you very much, your mobilization is awesome.