Feeling Love For This Place I Call Home

My dear blog readers –

We’ve missed you.  But our time and efforts have been directed towards our beloved city of New York.

Our thoughts have been heavy and our muscles sore.  But this week has also been full of more beauty & love than I’ve hardly ever seen in my life.

  •  In Staten Island, perhaps the hardest hit area, we saw home-grown distribution centers of supplies being set up by residents and churches on the corners in the demolished neighborhoods.  They were providing hot lunches and all kinds of supplies which were being replenished often by regular New Yorkers bringing in car loads of goods.  We came in with a crew of 80 people from our church and spent the day helping homeowners remove their soaked & rotting belongings from their homes and stripped out drywall and carpeting.  I still can’t get over these wonderful people that just jumped to help. 

  • We saw a group of three girls that drove into Red Hook with an entire trunk full of sandwiches.  They had skipped work and made hundreds of sandwiches all day and just showed up to hand them out to people.  One of them said, “uhh..we heard some kids needed lunches?  So we made sandwiches (like 600 of them).  And we brought carrots, too.”
  • The women from church are supplying hot meals for a food line in Red Hook. 
    • Kids all over the neighborhood are raising money by selling treats on the street.
    • This weekend our church became a drop off center for supplies and people just poured in to donate goods.  Some people literally brought shopping carts of food down Court Street.  Our car got so packed that we ended up filling up an entire 2nd car.
    •  My sweet husband got up at 6:00 am to go and do the breakfast shift at a shelter for hundreds of nursing home evacuees.  When he signed out, he saw that the volunteer check-in sheet became 10 pages deep while he was there.  Our friend (a professional saxophone player) went that afternoon and played music for the residents…I love that people are just offering what they can.
    • And the marathon runners…I’m so touched that so many headed into the wreckage and helped this city.  

    Thank you, thank you to the wonderful humans of this world who are doing so much during this time of need.  Your service inspires me to keep going – to wash off my sewer soaked shoes and go in for more.

    Love from Brooklyn,


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    1. linsey November 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm - Reply

      Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Mara. Thank you for sharing.

    2. Rochelleht November 5, 2012 at 2:33 pm - Reply

      LOVE those yellow shirts. Such joy and hope when you see those in the midst of such pain and loss. I'm so glad you have the opportunity to help. Wonderful.

    3. Anonymous November 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm - Reply

      What a wonderful post! Living through Katrina and the aftermath taught us all life changing lessons about the good in people and the value of neighbors, community and giving back. All of Louisiana wishes love to NY/NJ and everyone recovering. It is a long, tough road, but you do come out on the other side.

    4. Rose November 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm - Reply

      Serving others is such an important part of the LDS church, and we did our part with Mormon helping hands this past weekend in Atlantic city. VArious members of our stake are going every weekend this month to help clean up debris, and help. I'm so impressed with how New York is pulling together, and that y'all collected supplies to donate. I really loved those women who helped in making and giving away sandwiches. It just shows that no matter who we are…everyone comes together when a catastrophe hits. Thanks for your post!

    5. Kristin Rasmussen November 5, 2012 at 7:32 pm - Reply

      You guys are awesome!!

    6. Danielle Boyle November 5, 2012 at 11:35 pm - Reply

      I lived through Katrina. My family lost everything. Those in my neighborhood did as well. It ended up being my most favorite time of my life! I still think back to that time after the immense devastation in my city and reminisce about it. Ugh. SO much love. So much turmoil, yet so very much faith and hope. I've truly never seen so much strength, love, and beauty in my life. Yes, it was terribly hard and I don't want to discount or minimize that. Yet, love was so prevalent and POWERFUL during that time… everyone coming together.. people coming out of the woodwork to help!! It really does make a difference.

    7. A.Co November 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm - Reply

      This is incredible. Thanks for sharing this and the pictures. As someone who was not affected by the hurricain, and only hearing and seeing images about it, it's amazing to hear the details (600 sandwiches?! WHAT!?) and how people are helping others and what is going on.

    8. Lisa | Happy By November 6, 2012 at 11:44 pm - Reply

      It is wonderful to see people help and offer what they can. Keep on sharing inspirational acts please!

    9. Lisa November 8, 2012 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      thank you for your love and efforts for those affected by sandy. its very scary when you leave home and don't know if there will be a home to come back to. and for many it became their reality, they had no home to return to. what a wonderful energy, and such uplifting pictures. cont the great work!

    10. Corine January 18, 2013 at 11:28 pm - Reply

      *sniffle, sniffle… 🙂 This just makes me teary eyed! I LOVE the many wonderful good people in this beautiful world!

      PS. I just found your blog last night and am so excited to start reading it! Love is on my brain, as is joy. I believe that joy comes from loving others by looking for the good in them, serving, and counting blessings. I hope you have a beautiful, joyful day! Thank you for your beautiful blog!
      Corine 😀

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