Alphabet City Rescue Mission: LOVE NYC
It's been 8 months since the storm, and we are back to life as usual - on the surface, at least. We have a few lingering issues (spotty Internet and stinky basements) and most of the restaurants and bars around our 'hood were still "cash only" due to Sandy up until about 6 weeks ago. But those issues are minor. Because of this hurricane-super-storm-transformer-blowing-power-killing-what-the-hell fest, we've learned a bigger lesson about keeping what we love close to us. Appreciating it. We all now also know that when something tries to destroy what we love, we not only can fight back ... we will fight back. (We also all probably have space heaters and five more blankets in the linen closet than most normal people.)
The reason I'm writing all of you now is to let you know that it was my decision to hang on to the last $2,000 and to find a single worthy cause to give something lasting back to the neighborhood instead of a ton of small donations. I had a few meetings back in March and that last $2,000 has been pledged to help replant La Plaza Cultural, which is the community park on the corner of Avenue C and 9th Street. You can visit their site here: http://laplazacultural.com
It's warmed up. Summer is here, and we are going to put in a new Cherry tree. We are going to replant the border plants that also got destroyed and hopefully, if there's anything left over, restock the Koi pond. (You don't want to know what happens to Koi fish in park pond when a hurricane comes through. It's not pretty. RIP little japanese fish. RIP.)
I felt like replanting the park with the last of the money would be something happy and lasting. The kids from the neighborhood play here. The adults throw fun parties. Occasionally there's a theater performance or a parade in spring. It's a great park and it needs replanting after the destruction. (And I'm also selfishly demanding that they name one of the new koi fish "jenny," obviously.)
Happy summer everyone!!
I love you all and want you to always remember that all of us who went through this are so thankful to you guys. Friend and strangers gave us so much support and it was an incredible experience and proof that we can fix anything. Thank you one last time. Thank you thank you.
If you are ever in nyc, please hit me up and we can go visit the fish together.
I'm sure you guys are all like "Oh really? Another email from this girl?!" but I thought I would share this since it's pretty awesome/crazy news about this fund.
The guys at GoFundMe got a phone call from NPR a few days ago. NPR is going to do a radio program on fundraising in the aftermath of Sandy, and they asked the guys that manage this site to suggest someone who was successful in fundraising efforts. My page got selected!
I'm meeting up with the crew from NPR this afternoon at 2pm and I'm going to take them all over Alphabet City, to the places where we hung out after the storm ... and to meet some of the people we have helped with this $10 grand.
One of the places we are going today is to the offices of the Lower East Side Girl's Club, which are located on Avenue D, right next to my building. They have a bakery called The Sweet Things Bakeshop that was completely destroyed during the flood. That bakery is an entrepreneurial/mentorship program for the girls living in lower-income situations in our neighborhood. We are giving them a check for $1,000 today to help build the bakery back.
I'm really excited to be on NPR and that our little area will get some cool press that will hopefully inspire more people to help out down here. We are still getting back on our feet thanks to you guys. I'll post the broadcast when it runs.
Wish me luck on NPR and thank god it's radio because I suck at being on camera.
All the best!
I just got the final check in the mail today, and I'm closing this account right after posting this email to all of you.
I just wanted to send a final message and tell you how thankful I am ... how thankful so many people are that don't even know you guys who donated. I know it's made their Thanksgiving because it's really defined mine this year. I actually just gave a $200 Target gift card to a family who lost everything. It went out this morning from the fund. Good things are still happening daily with this money.
This world is a really small, connected place. I think in the day-to-day it's easy to forget that. So, in a way, I'm thankful for Hurricane Sandy (even as I sit here with no heat - yes, it's out again today in my apt), because she was a reminder ... a terrible refresher ... an unwanted (but possibly needed) reset button for us here in NYC.
I'm reminded: that my neighbors are my neighbors, whether I know their names or not. Every day is a new chance to get to know them.
I'm refreshed: in my outlook on what's important in the long run and what's not. And in hot showers. Literally.
I'm reset: in heading into 2013, loving the memories of a week without power or cell phones or those modern conveniences we all take for granted. My friends took me in and we ate on the street and we learned to love NYC in a way we never knew possible.
I hope all of you are headed into a warm house today, to eat food and to be with people who love you.
I'm headed to a bar filled full of my neighbors. We will watch the parade, eat a giant turkey and drink beer mid-day.
Thanks for saving our village. We love you for it. And if you want to donate more, please hit up Occupy Sandy. Those guys do great work.
Have a wonderful Turkey Day
ATTN: THIS PAGE IS CLOSED.
We are so happy and thankful for all of the donations. Right now, I'm trying to manage these funds we've raised and make sure they go to those most in need, with every dollar stretching as far as it can go.
My personal goal was to raise $10k. We've hit that and then some, so our fundraising is complete. I know some of you might wish to contribute, but it's my hope that you will now turn and give it to some other organization. I'm a one-woman operation and my collecting has come to a wonderful (yet necessary) end. I simply don't have the ability to manage any more than I'm doing right now.
So, if you still wish to give, it's my hope that you will give to Occupy Sandy. They have been a crucial, wonderful part of the recovery efforts. You can find them here:
Another great one is the Brooklyn Recovery Fund:
Thanks again for all the donations.