Friday, January 4, 2013

Guyon Rescue

In continuing my quest to ensure that the Hurricane Sandy victims had happy holidays, I made my way to Guyon Rescue on December 23rd. After raising a lot of money at the "Rescue Ball" on Dec. 12th, they were able to provide the families with Christmas gifts. Guyon Rescue wanted to make sure that Santa didn't leave anyone out!
The event was complete with the Wagner High School chorus, elves, tables of toys and a visit from Santa, himself! The families lined up along a fence and anxiously awaited their turn. One by one, the kids sat on Santa's lap and were given exactly what they had asked for. It was great to see the smiles on their faces.
I decided to walk down the line and speak to all of the families. One woman told me her heartbreaking story. She lost everything in the hurricane and is out all the time with her disabled son to make sure that he stays distracted. On that day in particular, she was going from one community holiday party to another, to keep her son's mind at ease. It is this strength that has been seen throughout the island since October. It is heartbreaking and inspiring all at once.
Food was provided for those who needed it - as it has been for the past two months. Volunteers are always on hand, cooking up a warm meal. The guests were definitely in high spirits, despite everything that had happened. The kids were excited to see Santa, and the parents were glad that they could still give their children the Christmas gifts they deserved. Grateful isn't even a strong enough word to describe how many of them told me they felt.
I'm proud to have been a part of Guyon Rescue's efforts. From the moment the hurricane hit, they have been at the forefront of relief efforts and have been making an enormous difference in our community. Thank you to all of the volunteers who put some joy back into this holiday season for Staten Island. This is truly what Christmas is all about.

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