On Thursday, December 27, two teams of Vanguard Direct employees volunteered for the day to help with Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts in the Rockaways. Vanguard Direct partnered with New York Cares, New York City’s largest volunteer organization, which runs volunteer programs for 1,300 nonprofits, city agencies, and public schools. Through New York Cares, one team went to an action center and the other went to help “muck out” homes devastated by the storm.
The first group went to an action center, a repurposed daycare center that was flooded during the storm. While they try to rebuild the center, volunteers have turned it into a distribution point for donations. Those in need were able to pick up donation packages (including items such as soup, stew, and oranges) prepared by the volunteers and were also able to go through clothes and take whatever they needed. Raffles were held in the morning for donated coolers, playpens, and strollers.
The second group went to help “muck out” two houses that were destroyed by the storm. The first house needed its floorboards removed, and dressed in Tyvek suits, safety goggles, and respirator masks, our crew took to tearing up the floor with crowbars and hammers. Having cleared all the debris from the residence, we were finished by noon and able to move to a second location. That house required the tiles to be ripped up from the entire, water-damaged first floor. Needless to say, all volunteers were physically spent by the end of the day.
Other volunteers came from all walks of life and ranged from students to retirees, from white-collar workers to victims of the storm themselves. Despite the diversity, it was clear everyone was here for one reason: they simply wanted to help. Although so much has been done to relieve the pain of the storm, relief efforts are expected to go well into the spring. If you have time to spare, gather up a few friends or coworkers and take a day to help ease the pain from Sandy. Every little bit helps, and it ended up being a lot of fun for everyone involved. To take part in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, visit http://newyorkcares.org/volunteer/disaster/ and make a difference today!
Vanguard Employee Volunteers
Group 1: Samanta Ramroop, Andrea Moglia, Kathy Lupo, Nomi Kaplan, Ron Clemente
Group 2: Michael Hiney, Zachary Smith, Natacha Arora, John Mehl, John Carew
Author: Zack Smith