December 5, 2013 | 17389 views
Begin the holidays with a generous heart
’Tis the season of holiday lights and holy nights, of children’s smiling faces, giddy gift-opening, half-price sales and the festive if frenetic bustle of store-to-store shopping. It’s all about Bethlehem and bounty, family and food, peace and parties.
Yet, 13 months after Sandy wrecked houses and hearts on the South Shore, hundreds of our neighbors are still homeless, hungry and despairing.
At a Vision Long Island disaster-planning workshop two weeks ago, grown men wept as they told their personal stories, and those of others who remain displaced, depressed and frustrated at the Gordian knots of red tape with which their efforts to recover are tied. There remains a diaspora of far-flung Sandy victims — families with children — who anticipated this Hanukkah and Christmas season with dread.
As the fortunate among us — those whom Sandy did not rob of homes and jobs and bank accounts, or are not beset by life’s other misfortunes — celebrate the holidays, let’s also remember the needy, and give what we can to organizations that exist to help the hardest hit.
And remember, too, that there were thousands of hungry and desperate people living in our communities long before the storm. They are no less needy now.
Businesses in some areas are also still affected by Sandy. You can help by “shopping small” this season, meaning patronizing your local downtown stores and restaurants and even heading to Long Beach, East Rockaway, Island Park, Oceanside, Freeport and other still-recovering areas to shop and dine. Help boost those communities’ spirits — and revenues.
Be generous this holiday season with those who need your giving spirit the most.