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.
He was simultaneously trying to vote and figure out why I have a made up Facebook name… so his morning was full.
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) http://www.gofundme.com/wwwgofundmecomhelpMsAl#description.
$1000 went to the Steven Siller Foundation (https://www.tunneltotowersfoundation.org/index.aspx) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or click on any of the links above to help.
And for you runners out there, this is Brett’s route to 26.2 miles.