Lend a Helping Hand for Hurricane Florence Victims


Hurricane Florence arrived late last week, leaving behind destruction that those in Rockaway are all-too-familiar with since Superstorm Sandy. So locals know that those in the Carolinas are in need of help. Different local initiatives to help victims have already begun.

The Carolinas and parts of Virginia are feeling the effects of Florence. The storm left several areas heavily flooded and caused the death of 34 people. Now the recovery process begins.

The Breezy Point-based Comfort Crew, which often rallies to collect supplies and gift cards for those affected by disasters, is doing it once again. The Comfort Crew is currently collecting gift cards to places such as Target, Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, VISA, AMEX, MasterCard, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc. Gift cards can be dropped off or mailed to Maura Buckley c/o Operation Kid Comfort, 211-60 Breezy Point Boulevard, Breezy Point, NY 11697; District Leader Lew Simon, 140 Beach 113th Street, Rockaway Park, NY 11694 or to Jeanne McInnis of Belle Harbor (call 917-207-7795 to arrange a drop-off).

The Comfort Crew plans to do more in the coming weeks. “Once we connect with relief centers/organizations on the ground when they are set up, we will then setup Amazon gift registry lists and have people purchase items and ship directly there,” Maura Buckley said. “Let's show the Carolinas that they are not alone and get them the help they need right now.”

Additionally, Senator Joseph Addabbo has begun a supply drive for victims in North Carolina. Addabbo recently connected with Senator Bill Rabon of North Carolina to see what kind of help is needed after the storm. Rabon, who is also a veterinarian, saw his office and his house destroyed. However, those across his district, which includes Brunswick, Bladen, New Hanover, and Pender Counties, are also in need of help.

“After Sandy came and left parts of my district in despair, we quickly went to work trying to get things back to normal. However, we didn’t do it alone,” Addabbo said. “We were supported by communities and people from outside of New York. I wanted to repay the assistance my district received after Sandy by helping others get through their tough situation in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.”

As a response, Addabbo is kicking off a supply drive for the victims of Hurricane Florence. Items will be collected through Thursday, October 4, and will be shipped to Senator Rabon in North Carolina.

Rabon and his constituents are in need of toiletries including toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, soaps and shampoos, and other products, as well as Visa and MasterCard gift cards.

Residents who wish to help the people of North Carolina during this difficult time can drop off items at any of Addabbo’s three district offices: Howard Beach at 159-53 102nd Street, Middle Village at 66-85 73rd Place, and the Rockaways at 88-08 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“This simple supply drive will go a long way in helping the victims of Florence begin to get their lives back together,” Addabbo said. “I remember that after Sandy, donated items and gift cards, which allowed families to buy specific items needed, were extremely helpful. You don’t realize how important little things, like soap and toothbrushes, are until you don’t have them. This is a great way to help your fellow human beings in a time of great need.”