Sandy Part 3

Posted by martin.parnell |

Next Events:

3rd Annual Marathon Quest 250 Run / Walk

  • Monday December 31st 2012

  • 9.00pm to 3.00pm

  • Location: Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, Cochrane, Alberta

Hockey Quest 500 (Quest #6)

  • Saturday January 19th 2013

  • 8.00am to 5.00pm

  • Location: Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, Cochrane, Alberta

Monday morning, November 5th, I set off for Saint Jacobi Lutheran Church in Brooklyn. At Grand Central station the subway was jammed so I ran 28 blocks south to Union station and jumped on the R train to 53rd street. At the Church I entered the chapel and had a 10 minute orientation. The organizers were the "Occupy Sandy" group. These were the same individuals involved in the "Occupy Wall Street" event. They were looking for "Runners" and I spent the day running up and down stairs, taking donated supplies from a basement and loading them into any vehicle that became available. Torches, batteries, baby food, diapers, pet food, clothing - the list was endless and they were constantly getting requests for more. I have to say the organization was excellent but I did wonder where the Red Cross was. By the time I got back to the hotel I was ready for a bath and a hot meal. We turned on the TV  - what a stark contrast - images from the devastation in some areas of the city and the hype connected with the Obama/ Romney campaign.

The next day we left for home. It certainly wasn't the trip we'd hoped for, but it will hold memories of a different kind. We saw desperation and heartbreak as well as the kindness and generosity of so many. But we also became all too aware of something else - something which we both found frustrating, shocking and so very disappointing. It's hard to put into words, but maybe I can give you this simple example: On Sunday, we were on our way home and, as it was a bit chilly (we'd donated our gloves and scarves) decided to walk through Bloomingdales. At the Marc Jacobs counter, two young women were trying to decide which of the $600+ purses they should buy - sixteen miles away, less than the distance from here to Calgary, people were trying to decide whether to eat what little they had for supper or save it for breakfast, whether or not to walk the hours it would take to get to a polling station to vote for the leader of one of the richest countries on the planet. Sort of makes you think.

The journey home went off without a hitch and it was good to see the lights of Cochrane, as we dove down Big Hill. We were home and safe. But we'll definitely be thinking of thousands of New Yorkers, who will be without power or a place to live when their Thanksgiving comes around.

Quote of the Day

"Look after yourself, look after one another"

Right To Play motto

Donations are sorted at St. Jacobi Church in Brooklyn. They are then taken to victims of Sandy. This place will be open for another 6 to 8 weeks. Unbelievable.

Sandy Part 3

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