Local Youth Group Among Many Lending A Hand To Those Affected By Harvey

WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork) — President Donald Trump declared Sunday as a National Day of Prayer for those dealing with the aftermath of Harvey.

Many people in our area said they were using the day to lend a helping hand.

MORE: Texas Begins Long Road To Recovery In Harvey’s Wake

As CBS2’s Reena Roy reported, people all over are trying to assist with both prayers and donations. Sunday morning, a group of local youth volunteers hopped on a flight from Newark to Houston to help clean up.

“I’m hoping to just help people out,” volunteer Gabrielle Josephson said. “People lost their homes and it’s really sad to see.”

“Seeing the news reports and everything happening there it’s terrible,” another girl said. “It’s amazing to be able to help. I’m so excited to help.”

The youth group from New Jersey will spend three days helping to clean up homes and salvage what’s left in the wake of Harvey’s devastation.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done when we get there,” volunteer Aliza English said. “We’re going to be dispatched to take care of a few different jobs.”

On Saturday, candles burned in Brooklyn for the victims of the deadly hurricane which CBS News confirms has claimed 45 lives.

Dozens gathered at Grand Army Plaza to pray and donate necessities for first responders and the one million people displaced. The drive was organized by a Queens man who was affected by Superstorm Sandy.

“Diapers, feminine care products, batteries, things like disposable cameras for taking pictures of damage right afterwards since everyone’s phones are destroyed,” Bayside resident Patrick Jordan told CBS2’s Jessica Borg.

Over at Luna Park in Coney Island, amusement park officials plan to donate 10 percent of their sales next Sunday to Houston Texan star JJ Watt’s flood relief fund.

Harvey animals have not been forgotten. On Sunday, the ASPCA of the Upper East Side will take 20 displaced shelter dogs from storm-ravaged areas.

On Long Island, more Sandy survivors filled up five trucks’ worth of donations for Harvey victims.

Long Beach resident Tim Kramer was a victim of the superstorm, so he and his wife Kristina started what they thought would be a small collection drive for people in Texas.

“We started as a little boutique on the border and we would up being Costco,” he said.

Some schools on Staten Island also needed a lot of help after Sandy. Now, an effort is underway to have those schools, and others in the city, to give a hand to schools in Texas.

Where To Turn founder Dennis McKeon will collect donations based on special requests.

“As we did after Sandy, what we are starting is an adopt a school program,” he said.

Staten Island schools will be asked to adopt a Texas school then collect supplies.

Last week, a rescue center in New Jersey welcomed more than 30 dogs from a shelter in Louisiana that needed to make room for pups rescued from Houston.

The president has thanked first responders and the people who have helped out. He’s urging all Americans to try and chip in in some way.

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