As life has begun to resume some normalcy since Hurricane Sandy hit New York, it becomes easier to move away from the many images of devastation, especially for those who have not suffered long-term effects.
With electricity restored to most households and no more gas lines, one can almost pretend that this “once-in-a-century” storm was just a really, really bad dream.
But of course that wasn’t the case. For families in the areas hardest hit, effects of the storm still surround them. From those that are still without power and heat to those who have suffered devastating damage to their homes, everyone is left recuperating in what seems to be an agonizingly slow process.
However, this process has been greatly aided by the spirit of volunteerism that has emerged within the community. All across Long Island, groups have formed to bring aid to those who need it and help to rebuild people’s lives.
At Lawrence Woodmere Academy, a Google Document has been set up so that families can list any needs they have or offer up support. Students, teachers, and administration have all worked to turn the school into a place of solace for those still suffering the storm’s effects. The way our community has come together in this time of hardship shows the generosity and the capacity for endurance of all of the members in the wake of the hurricane.
LWA’s annual Harvest Festival celebrated on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving takes on a much meaningful role this year due to Hurricane Sandy and long road of recovery and repair ahead. The highly anticipated event starts with students bringing in platters of food to contribute to the cornucopia that makes up the lunchtime feast.
Surrounded by friends and full of delicious food, I always feel a sense of home in the event. Live music and festive decorations add to the warm environment. After the wonderful meal, everyone gathers for a friendly student-teacher volleyball match in the gym.
Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks, and it is also a time for sharing. Though I am thankful to have emerged from the storm with relatively little loss, many others in my school community have not been as lucky. In celebrating our school’s Harvest Festival, I am grateful for the opportunity to do my part to provide for others, not only with a tangible display of food, but with compassion and care that can be just as nourishing.