Hurricane Sandy: Bringing Services to Local Victims
Heather, a local resident of New Jersey, found herself stranded and unable to get to work on Saturday morning due to an empty gas tank. She of course was not alone; due to Hurricane Sandy many businesses, including gas stations have been unable to open. Zakat Foundation of America’s (ZF) team came across Heather and asked her if she needed any help. Heather, seemingly without any real intentions, replied, “Well, I wish I could have some gas for my car. That way I can make it to work.” The ZF team then offered Heather some gas. Heather was taken aback by the generosity of our team’s offer of free gas, and naturally insisted on knowing the real price. When we explained that we were ZF, a charity organization helping those in need, she heartily expressed her gratitude – she had been unable to attend work for days. Thanks to ZF, Heather was able to make it to work that day, as well as the next.
Indeed, stories like Heather’s are common since Sandy came ashore and shattered life all along the East Coast. The horrible storm has claimed over 100 lives, and left billions of dollars of damage in its wake. ZF, a member of the Delaware Volunteer Organization registry, has been involved in hands-on relief work in a number of states hardest hit by the storm, including New York, New Jersey, and Delaware.
Emergency shelters are being pushed to their limits. Wagner High School in Staten Island, New York, is currently home to over 400 evacuated people. These temporary residents either do not have power in their homes, or their homes have been damaged too extensively by the hurricane to be inhabitable. The ZF team volunteered their efforts by carrying cots, and distributing water and personal items to the hurricane victims.
In North Jersey people are spending countless hours waiting at gas stations to fill up their cars in order to get to work. Business-owners have been unable to open their stores and shops simply because their gas tanks are empty and have no other means of transportation. The supply of gasoline is so low that the overall economy is being affected, as individuals struggle to make it to work.
A local-business owner told us, “If you did not bring this gas, I would not be able to open my store today because there is no gas in my car and – no way of getting it.” The thankful restaurant-owner continued, “Gas is more important than food right now.”
We have been distributing gas every day, along with maintaining our efforts to deliver many other services. At our three distribution centers, we have been providing blankets, winter coats, and warm clothing. Please keep the victims of Hurricane Sandy in your prayers and donate today to keep those affected warm and cared for during these next few weeks.