Monday, November 5, 2012

Good deeds, warm words helped us through the storm

By Ed Stannard, Community Engagement Editor

I asked you to tell me who’s doing positive things in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and you came through. While I know there are many more people helping each other than we’ve heard about, here are some good examples. It doesn’t take a heroic act to make a difference. The little things mean a lot. They show us that others care, that we’re not alone facing a world that can be pretty cold at times.

Edward Burke of West Haven was grateful to the city and to Living Word Ministries for how he fared in the storm. He’s 75 years old and requires a breathing apparatus. “They brought me up to Carrigan School” where he could use his machine, Burke said. “I got a cot, I got food” from Living Word, a church on Bull Hill Lane, “and they supplied food that quite frankly was better than most restaurants!”

Burke mentioned a woman named Kathy who worked 16 to 18 hours a day. “I think that people like her should be compensated somehow for it,” he said.

John Appel of Branford nominated his neighbor, Mike Labonia of Lanphier Road, who had a generator and two neighbors without power. “He solicited extension cords also and connected two women who otherwise whould have been without power and whose freezers would have been without power also,” Appel said.

On Facebook, Susan Lanzaro Schroeder told about “an elderly Derby neighbor handicapped with bedsores AND without power for five long days survived on an air mattress that was shot.” Schroeder said she learned about the situation Friday morning, posted it on the Valley Independent Sentinel and within 1½ hours “offers came pouring in to contact and assist this family. She is now safely ‘tucked in’ at a nursing home for the next week or so. People in need don't always reach out; but, there are people who feel urgent about helping!!!”

Sometimes there’s no single deed. Lubelia Bela DeBrum, also on Facebook, said that in her Milford condo complex, where one section was hit hard, “came together as a true community. We are not only nearest but we’re family.”

Even nonprofit agencies can be the recipients of kindness. The Connecticut Food Bank posted today, “There are so many people and organizations we want to thank.  One is a woman from Orange, CT, who just got her power back on Sunday.  She told us she spent her entire weekly food budget to help others.  Another is a young man who rented a truck when he learned we needed help getting the food from West Hartford to our East Haven warehouse.”

There are many more stories out there. Tell us more … or better yet, write your own in the way you help others.


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