Clinton Foundation Aids Sandy-Ravaged Rockaways

Monday, 19 Nov 2012 09:36 AM
By Bill Hoffmann

A compassionate army of more than a thousand volunteers flooded the hurricane-ravaged Rockaways in Queens, New York, on Sunday as part of the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative’s efforts to help one of Hurricane Sandy’s hardest hit communities.

Led by former president Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea, the Good Samaritans cleaned up tons of debris, drained and cleared out flooded basements, and distributed relief supplies, including clothing and food, to residents.

“The impact of Hurricane Sandy has devastated families and communities along the East Coast, including many right here in New York City,” Chelsea Clinton said Monday morning.

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“The Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative were able to bring people and organizations together for a Day of Action for New York to aid in recovery efforts.

“By working with friends, partners, and local community members, we were proud to be able to make a small but meaningful difference in an area hard hit by Sandy.”

The relief effort — called “A Day of Action for New York’’ — also fanned out to the severely damaged beaches, where crews removed piles of rubbish littering the sand.

Many shell-shocked residents of the Rockaways — a scenic, 11-mile peninsula in Queens that faces the Atlantic Ocean — are still without power, heat, or running water.

As they accepted clothing, including insulated winter jackets and gloves, from the volunteers, they told horror stories about the storm’s path of destruction and how they’ve struggled to survive since it struck three weeks ago.

Sandy’s death toll stands at 110, with 48 of those fatalities occurring in New York.

Helping in Sunday’s relief effort was Team Rubicon, a Clinton Global Initiative member, whose commitments include engaging veterans and military family members in 1.5 million hours of volunteer service in communities nationwide by July 2013.

Other volunteers, in coordination with NYC Service and New York Cares, worked at the distribution sites including Key Foods and St. Francis Church to hand out emergency supplies and provide crucial information to residents.

Meanwhile, the Clinton groups said they are exploring the long-term challenges of how to best coordinate efforts, forge partnerships, and strategically respond to the devastating effects of Sandy.

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