A few years after I got married and moved to Connecticut, someone said, in passing, “Never forget where you came from.” These words have become so incredibly meaningful to me in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

This past Saturday, my family and I packed up our truck with many generous donations from friends and headed to Oakwood Beach, Staten Island. This area is a little more than a mile from the house where I grew up. My old house was not in a flood zone (it was in Zone B) and it, too, was evacuated in the middle of the storm as the waters rose from 3 inches to 3 feet in a matter of minutes. It’s amazing the two worlds that exist here today. The higher grounds of the island are fully in tact and yet, a mile away, such destruction. It’s like nothing I have ever seen or experienced before. I am humbled and feel privileged that we could help out in some way.

Here are some pictures from our trip. If you show in full screen and hit “show info” on the top right, you can see captions to the photos.

Say what you want about New Yorkers, and especially Staten Islanders, they are TOUGH and they know how to help each other. This tragedy has shown many people what the true meaning of community is.

I have never been prouder to be a Staten Islander.


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