Helping the Victims of Hurricane Sandy or Why Americans Rock

The devastation and tragedy in the aftermath of Sandy goes on and on. If victims are lucky, they don’t have power or are waiting in lines for hours at gas stations. If they aren’t so lucky, they have no food, no water, no shelter, no diapers or baby formula, are old and trapped, are using homes and hallways as toilets… what is going on in Queens and Staten Island and other parts of NY and NJ is heartbreaking. And now it’s getting cold and another storm is due to arrive tomorrow.

Michael Bloomberg is not proving to be the second America’s Mayor. Sadly, the worst of his dumbassery was not proclaiming the NYC marathon a go and then after being told how stupid that would be, he cancelled it after people were already arriving from around the world. While it is a bummer that people trained for the race and then got the marathon rug pulled out from under them, when I see news stories about runners “consoling” each other, I want to spit. Or some gesture that would show I am disgusted.

Which brings me to: Why Americans Rock.

My brother’s friend, Brett, lives in Brooklyn and had trained for the Marathon that didn’t happen but he decided not to take no for an answer and ran anyway. (His route is shown at the end of the post.) If I had trained to run 2.62 26.2 miles (hahahaha! I know, right?!) and was told I didn’t have to do it, I would go out to breakfast and eat extra for the calories I had planned on burning.

Brett, on the other hand, mapped out his own marathon and prior to running, he set up a PayPal account for people to use to donate funds. The original plan was that Brett’s friends on Facebook would donate some money, he and his wife and kids would go buy water and diapers, etc. and drive it out to the afflicted areas. Well, he raised more money than he expected and his updates have been inspiring. I know Brett isn’t the only one doing this, which is why he and Americans Rock!

There has been more than one news account of how friends, family, neighbors, and strangers are helping each other. The clean up isn’t being done by agencies, it is being done by people with their hands and brooms and shovels. Americans want to help and are generous with our time, energy and dollars.

I was messaging with Brett this morning and bugging him for details because he has nothing better to do than help me write a blog post.

Brett says he wasn’t really “rocking the vote” more sort of “clusterf*^&ing the vote”

He was simultaneously trying to vote and figure out why I have a made up Facebook name… so his morning was full.

Cute Johnson children with supplies from CVS. I wish we had CVS out here.

As of last night’s tally, he had raised almost $5000. Brett and his wife and children spent $530 of the funds raised at CVS and then they dropped off supplies at the Gowanus Houses housing project not far from his home. “This is a place I have walked by countless times on the way to revel at a pub or wonderful restaurant, probably with some misguided disdain. Meeting the people first hand and seeing them help one another and be so appreciative of the donations is a very grounding experience.”

Another $400 was donated to a teacher at his kids’ school (PS58)

$1000 went to the Steven Siller Foundation ( Steven was a 34-year-old firefighter and father of five from Park Slope, he died on September 11. His Tunnel To Towers Foundation is helping victims of the hurricane.

Brett is updating his Facebook page daily with tallies on donations and how the money is being allocated. He told me this morning that he will “plan to spend every dollar wisely and pull together a KPMG audit-able worthy summary.”

If you would like to donate to Brett’s efforts, email him at: Or click on any of the links above to help.

Americans Rock!

And for you runners out there, this is Brett’s route to 26.2 miles.

25 thoughts on “Helping the Victims of Hurricane Sandy or Why Americans Rock

      1. nope…but I did have a neighbor see my post on facebook about dog sitting or house sitting through December – and said she’d pay me $50 a week to clean for her – and that her bro in law is looking for someone to rent a room in his house. I love this neighborhood!! I had my own cleaning biz years ago – so I took her up on that – and I will see about the room as well…the architects need me this week – things are piecing together…but I’d sure love a full time grown up gig!!! But doing what I can!! Thanks girl!!

  1. Wonderful post and what a wonderful dude! Glad to see him and others like him are doing their best to pull together to help out those who have been most affected by the storm. Thank you for adding the links Maggie!

  2. WOW!! That’s impressive. What a great guy!
    Michael Bloomberg is a dumbass. I agree. Those poor people are taking turns sleeping at night so one of them can stay up patrolling looters – gun in hand. What kind of non-sense is that? Where is all the help? Ugh. Thank heaven for people like Brett.

        1. Hey Guap, I guess the helluva job (flashback 🙂 isn’t being publicized. I did hear they are getting trailers in there but like I said, after Katrina, this should have been seamless.

  3. unfetteredbs

    Great post Maggie.. love the word dumbassery.. you know how to spin it. It is maddening all the crap that goes on. But there is a lot of goodness too.
    Your cousin rocks.. and you rock.

    1. You know what though, I think it takes tragedy to make people’s everyday work, everyday efforts and good deeds newsworthy. I think this goes on everyday but no body talks about it.

  4. Pingback: Helping the Victims of Hurricane Sandy or Why Americans Rock | Just keep zooming!! Just keep zooming! Zoom zoom zoom!

  5. Wow, great job on his part!

    My apartment community is matching resident donations to the victims of Sandy. I think it’s wonderful when people step outside of themselves and do something great for other people.

  6. Addie

    I hope we can all start doing things like this for each other when there isn’t a huge disaster. Until then, kudos to all of the grass roots movements towards helping out the victims.

  7. Pingback: I Can’t Even Think of a Title « Someone Fat Happened

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