The holiday season is typically a time for families to gather round the dinner table, break bread, share stories, and enjoy one another’s company. Unfortunately, not every individual or family is able to partake in the joy of the season due to hard economic times. I strive in giving back to the community and adopt a family every year, but this year I decided to do something different.
I am very fortunate to be associated with two amazing local businesses, and I received a call asking if I was interested in being part of a Hurricane Sandy fundraiser. I immediately said yes, but since it wasn’t front page news, I, like many, thought this natural disaster was under control and in the rebuilding stages. I have never been so wrong !!
We decided to start a Hurricane Sandy “Fill A Truck” fundraiser, and then drive the filled truck to an area in need, about four hours away. I made phone calls for weeks, trying to find a drop area, and every call was a dead-end. One of the partner businesses is associated with Rotary International and he wrote a letter, asking for assistance in finding a drop area, Rotary International responded immediately with contact names and areas in need.
I started calling the contact people, and I was not prepared for what I would hear, didn’t the papers and the news say that they were in the rebuilding phase? The first woman I spoke with told me how her group is helping several churches and food pantries and after fifteen minutes on the phone I asked her if she had any damage. I had no idea that the woman I had been talking to for this length of time had lost everything, her home and business. She continued to tell me what life has been like for her, living in a house with no power, in the winter, not having a car, both were ruined, but she is focused on helping people who are left fortunate than her. This is not an isolated story, a post written on December 8 about current conditions, “The debris pile as you enter Seaside Heights is 2 stories high and the size of one or more football fields”. Visit Rotary International to read more about how you can help.
Our “Fill A Truck” fundraiser is going to be a success, and I am grateful to be a part of such a great community that is willing to help others in need.
In the Spirit of Christmas, reach out and pay it forward.
I’m excited to be a part of this edition of Collectively Creative! The theme for this month is, appropriately, being Joyful.