NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Saturday marked the New York City Day Of Service, a collaborative effort to help some of the hardest hit areas recover from superstorm Sandy.
Hundreds of volunteers from all across the city and Long Island pitched in to help clean up in some of the most badly devastated communities.
In Midland Beach on Staten Island, volunteers helped rip down flood-damaged drywall, loading the soggy sheet rock into garbage cans and onto the street.
One man explained why he decided to volunteer.
“The need to help, to feel like I’m doing something productive and not sitting around complaining about not having heat or hot water,” Dennis Walsh told CBS 2’s Drew Levinson.
Resident Dorothy North told Levinson she was unsure how she would clear out her destroyed home if not for the volunteers.
“We all feel sad seeing our stuff out on the curb and everything but when you see people getting help and you get the help, then you feel so much better,” Midland Beach resident Dorothy North told Levinson.
North said she is optimistic her community will rebuild. She said she has insurance and intends to rebuild her home in its current spot.
For those on the outside looking in, however, the effort to rebuild seems a ways off.
“I don’t know how a community recovers from something like this. It’s almost two weeks after the storm and this is what we’re looking at? It’s going to be tough,” Walsh told CBS 2’s Levinson.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined National Guard troops to deliver much-needed goods to residents of Long Beach and Far Rockaway. He also thanked volunteers who pitched in for helping to make a difference in the relief effort.
“The silver lining here is to see how good people can be and see how New Yorkers from all across the state came together to help people,” Cuomo said Saturday.
On Staten Island, volunteers were working on a massive cleanup operation, taking items off the streets and putting them into the dumpsters.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg kicked off the day of service Saturday morning on the steps of City Hall. Afterward, volunteers were to assist at an organized American Red Cross distribution and feeding site.
Storm survivors received food, water and emergency supplies at three locations – the parking lot at Brighton 4th Street and Brighton Court in Coney Island, Brooklyn; the Beach 41st Street Community Center at 426 Beach 40th St. in Far Rockaway, Queens, and Miller Field on New Dorp Lane in Staten Island.
Also as part of the effort, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn visited with volunteers at St. Margaret Mary Church on Staten Island, Tom’s Restaurant in Coney Island and the Arverne Edgemere Community Center in Far Rockaway.
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