I’m back from what felt like a trip to the Twilight Zone.
My hometown of Island Park is far from recovery, but working towards it. So many people are still without power! There are so many families that have been displaced. You see them searching through bags of donated clothing hoping to find something clean and warm for themselves and their children. The American Red Cross uses a bull horn offering hot meals to those in need. You hear them from inside as they drive up and down the street. It's surreal and virtually unknown to anyone who lives more than 5 miles outside the area. It’s almost like they’re in this little bubble that the rest of the world can’t see through.
I must have experienced every emotion over the 3 days that I spent visiting the town where I grew up. It is heart breaking to see businesses, homes, the elementary school still boarded up. It’s been 4 weeks since the storm hit. A month!!! Cars without license plates line the street, bumper to bumper, waiting to be collected. There’s condensation on the inside of the windows from the water that swept over and through them as if they were toys.
These people have lost everything that they have worked SO hard for. But then, you see neighbors helping each other, gathering at the train station to share a meal (provided by FEMA and sometimes the volunteer Fire Dept sponsors a BBQ), smiling, hugging, crying. This is a tight community. They’re super supportive and have the most incredible first responders working around the clock to ensure their safety. There wasn’t one night when I drove past the firehouse and didn’t see a bunch of guys keeping warm, having a beer, by the warmth of a fire blazing from a garbage can. Meanwhile, their homes are in shambles too and here they are waiting for their next “call”. To know that there are people who volunteer to do this is inspiring.
1 month later, my little town of Island Park, NY is nowhere NEAR recovery. I may be hundreds of miles away, but I’m far from being gone. More help is on the way.Me and my Dad. Thank the good LORD he's okay.
Please consider adopting my hometown the same way have adopted me. Anything you can spare will be more than appreciated. Donate HERE