Moving to DC has been a really difficult transition for me. I miss my life in NYC, my friends, and my security. I know it takes a few months to start feeling comfortable in a new place, even a place which isn't really all that new for me, but it has all changed since I was last here. I've been less than happy and I knew that I didn't want to be like this anymore.
Brigham was possibly coming to visit last weekend but he told me that he wanted to stay in NYC to help clean up the Rockaways. He had gone the Sunday before and saw first hand what still needed to be done to help people who lost almost everything in Hurricane Sandy. Brigham then invited me to come up there to help and I didn't even hesitate saying yes. I know that I'm not considered a New Yorker by a lot of people but my heart is still there. I wanted to help my community.
After a few hours of helping scrape off carpet from floors, throw out furniture, remove nails from ceilings, and take out lots of dry wall to the curb, I walked down to the beach to see the destruction. I was hit by how many possessions were left in the homes that their owners could no longer retrieve. I thought about how these peoples lives changed over night.
I did not take photos of what we did because I was too busy working. I was overwhelmed by the amount of volunteers and by people who set up pizza ovens and bbq's to freely feed all of the residents and volunteers. These were all acts of love and true charity. We were all very well fed by the end of the day.
I was asked by one of the volunteers why we are all out there helping to clean up. I know there are a variety of reasons but I was just grateful to help people who needed it and to be there for others. I'm also grateful I was able to step out of my life for a few hours and put everything in perspective.
Some posts from Brigham on his volunteering can be found here, here and here.