So this post has been in the barrel for weeks but sometimes life gets in the way. I’d also like to throw a big happy belated Thanksgiving and early ChannuKwanzaChristmanewyears in there too. I hope that this time of the year is gentle on everyone after a long couple of months and weeks.
As the world now knows, the Mid-Atlantic states, especially New York and New Jersey were hit by an enormous, unprecedented Hurricane that caused billions of dollars of property damage as well as incredibly tragic loss of life. New York City alone, our city, suffered massive devastation to pretty much every low-lying area near the ocean or rivers. Rockaway Beach, Staten Island, Coney Island and Brighton Beach, Red Hook, Gerritsen Beach, the Lower East Side, the list goes on, and on, and that’s just NYC.
As a New Yorker, the destruction caused by this storm is literally unbelieveable. As in, I did not believe I would ever see destruction on this scale, even after 9/11, in my life time. Many other members of NYCVinMoto and the NYCVMS have expressed a similar sentiment. It’s mind blowing. If you’re not familiar with what the effected areas looked like before the storm, it’s very hard to understand just how long it’s going to take to rebuild.
But rebuild we will and NYCVMS is doing its part. Since the storm hit on Monday 10/29 we’ve raised over $2000 in tools and donations and members have spent hours in Rockaway, Long Beach, the Lower East Side, etc. in boots and masks helping to clear flooded debris and furniture. We’ve rebuilt busted generators, cleared out concession stands to use as headquarters, we’ve donated shovels, wheelbarrows, wrecking bars, masks, cleaning supplies and work gloves, and much more. We’ve emptied flooded and rotten food from fridges and we’ve brought cold beer to tired workers. We’ve supplied a family with a generator that enabled them to stay out of the shelters and together over thanksgiving. We’ve provided hot food to volunteers working and canned food to those living in disaster areas. Hell, even the Nassau County Sheriff’s department was amazed at our effort.
We’ve all done it together, as a team and it’s made real, tangible difference on the ground. Our neighbors are better off because of the actions of a few people in the motorcycle community. From huge gestures like JT Stewart donating 2 BSA project bikes and 2 full kitchens to the relief effort. To Chris Mitchell for making trip after trip to the Rockaways and bringing a full truck of supplies including generators, demo tools, and even 8 brand new Sawzalls. To Corinna who brought her friends Nick and Alex of Backseat Conceptions (http://www.backseatconceptions.com/wp/?page_id=1531) on board to set up temporary mobile HQ’s with food and generators. To Tim Harney and Dave Browning of Harney Boy Racing/E3 Motorcycles to building a bike and donating the procedes straight to Rockaway relief.
And to everybody who donated cash to the cause enabling us to do all of this knowing full well they wouldn’t be getting a tax deduction a receipt, or anything of the like but knowing that we were spending their hard earned cash in good faith. Literally 100% of every dollar donated went to helping our neighbors in need.
The process of recover isn’t even close to over yet. It will take years and years and millions of man-hours to repair the damage but I’m extremely proud to count myself among a group that gives so freely of its time, money and love.
Rockaway Beach @ 91st street, 10/2/12
Donor BSA’s from JT
NYCVMS’s generator and 2 we repaired.
Some of our crew in Long Beach
An entire basement of furniture in Long Beach
Chris and Me @ B96th Street