NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The relief effort in the two weeks since superstorm Sandy devastated entire communities across the Tri-State Area has been huge in some spots.
The relief has come from fellow New Yorkers, from people in town for the marathon before it was canceled and from residents as far away as Texas who just wanted to help.
Veterans also pitched in to the relief effort on Veterans Day.
A little girl in Kansas City, Missouri also felt compelled to help after she saw the devastation from the storm.
Katherine Schell, who is just four years old, explains why she wanted to help.
“Because I was worried about the kids that lost their animals,” Schell told CBS 2’s Elise Finch.
“She said she wanted to fly to New York with Daddy and Mommy and buy them all new stuffed animals and bring it to them,” Katherine’s mother Katie told Finch.
Schell’s parents helped her do just that and in three days, the Schells and their neighbors collected enough money to buy 1,800 stuffed animals.
The family flew to New York, making their first stop in Belle Harbor, Queens to offer the new stuffed animals to kids who lost theirs in the storm.
” We lost mostly everything and it’s just sad and just the thought that she really reached out to us really meant the whole world,” Far Rockaway resident LaTannia Rankine told Finch.
The Schells are handing out the 200 stuffed animals they were able to bring with them. Another 1,600 are being shipped to New York for free by a Kansas City trucking company.
Residents said they are grateful for the giving spirit and kindness of others.
“A week ago it was like a ghost town, nobody was helping and now today as you could see people are donating,” 12-year-old Belle Harbor resident Michael Edwards told Finch.
“I think what they’re doing is truly wonderful and it’s a Godsend,” Benjamin Edwards, 13, added.
“I can’t say thank you enough. All these young incredible people,” another Belle Harbor resident told Finch.
The Stephen Siller Foundation will be helping Katherine and her mom distribute the rest of the stuffed animals once they arrive in New York.