On weekends, I have been making the 6 hour drive down to the Rockaways to help volunteer with Occupy Sandy since Superstorm Sandy hit. I have delivered supplies, served meals, and helped with cleanup efforts.
One thing that has struck me on each trip is the children who always ask if we have brought toys or bikes. You see, any child (and there are thousands) who lived on a first floor apartment or in a house, has lost all of his or her play things to flooding or fire. And as families focus on the rebuilding of their homes and community, they are not able to purchase toys. They are also in need of furniture, appliances, clothing, and holiday meals.
Working with familes in the area contacted by Occupy Sandy--the most organized, effective, and present group of volunteers in the Rockaways--I am assessing the needs of the children and families. Together with the amazing staff and students at my school, we will purchase what is needed, wrap all gifts, and deliver them for the holiday season.
The unfortunate are often forgotten in rebuilding efforts. Let's remember them and their children during the holidays.
*Angie Miller is the 2011 NH Teacher of the Year and a TED speaker who focuses on community service in the classroom. She has successfully raised funds for schools in Pakistan, a generator for a community in Southern Sudan, apartment needs for an elderly woman moving out of the homeless shelter, and multiple hurricane, tornado, and earthquake victims. You can follow her fundraisingn progress--and the impact you will make--at @angiecmiller74 on Twitter and www.boundlessangie.blogspot