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Donated Work Boots And Hard-Working Volunteers Hit The Ground On Staten Island

Staten Island Boots

An Oregon shoe company donated 2,300 pairs of work boots for the relief efforts on Staten Island. (Credit: CBS 2)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In the hard-hit borough of Staten Island, the dig-out and clean-up continue, and it was not without some major help Monday.

As CBS 2’s John Slattery reported, the massive mission took boots on the ground, but not everyone even had boots. But a tractor trailer came to the rescue, after a woman in the footwear business put out a call for help and a shoe company in Oregon responded.

“They said, ‘I have 2,300 pairs of work boots sitting on a truck in Kentucky that I can send directly to Staten Island, can you handle them?’” said footwear publisher Caroline Diaco, “I and was speechless.”

So a truck load was diverted to Staten Island by a shoe company that wanted to help.

“You have to step back and think about those people who need good, protective footwear,” said Chris Enlow of Keen Shoes, “and that’s why we’re here today, to donate 2,300 pairs of shoes.”

One of the grateful recipients was Dawn Cohen, who lost everything.

“One’s for my daughter — a pair — and a pair is for my husband, because we lost all our boots,” Cohen said.

The distribution was added to what was already being collected and handed out at the Oakland Heights VFW Post on Old Mill Road. Inside it was converted into a free mini-mart for victims.

Outside, there was barbeque, and a charging center for phones.

Across the street was a home that was flooded half-way up the first floor, where a Baptist church group is helping with the interior demolition.

“It’s the least we could do,” said volunteer Ed Khille. “My heart goes out to these people.”

Nearby were demolished homes that floated inland. Bridget Wiltshire lost it all, but she said she will rebuild.

“It’s paid for, so we’re going to rebuild and stay,” she said.

The stouthearted will stay. But it has been a hard call for others who ask, is it worth the risk again?

On Sunday, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano toured Staten Island. Napolitano said the number one issue there two weeks after the storm was the housing problem, CBS 2 reported.

FEMA has approved some $30 million in aid for Staten Island alone so far, 1010 WINS’ Gene Michaels reported.

Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro has said there is no need for any more donated clothing. They have all they can handle.

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