Communities Coming Together

We hope this blog finds you safe and secure after a very trying past couple of weeks.  Hurricane Sandy and the Nor’easter that followed, has changed the lives of so many people throughout the area.  While some communities were lucky enough to have minimal damages and inconveniences of lost power or fallen trees, others have been devastated by flooded streets and lost homes.  Hurricane Sandy has impacted neighborhood homes, schools, hospitals and places of business. The images and stories have been heartbreaking and the recovery is going to be long and tiring for communities that have been directly affected by this powerful force.   In times like this, of devastating proportion, it is amazing to see the outpouring of kindness and support of those who want to help out and provide assistance to those in need.  People from all over are donating clothing, food, toiletries, batteries, money and time to try and make the recovery a bit smoother for those who have lost so much.  Though nothing is good about tragic times, and we wish they didn’t have to happen, the one positive thing is the lesson of giving.

Times of difficulty can provide wonderful teaching moments about the value of pitching in and helping those who are struggling.  They provide us with an opportunity to teach our children the importance of community service and helping those in need.  It’s not uncommon for children to be living in a “me” world and not understand that things happen outside of their universe.  Taking part in community service teaches compassion, understanding and empathy.  It teaches valuable life skills like teamwork and communication.  It teaches us to be thankful for what we have and teaches tolerance and respect for others.  Community service instills a sense of responsibility and a feeling that one person can make a difference.  Learning to pitch in and help out will be remembered for a lifetime.  In years to come, children may not remember how many days the lights were out, but will remember the acts of kindness they and their community provided.

The organizations that provide relief efforts are (thank goodness) plentiful.  The American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities USA, Humane Society, Jewish Federations of North America, and City Harvest are just a few in the vast number of organizations that are devoted to helping those in need. But it is also the local neighborhood efforts that make a difference.  Communities are uniting to collect supplies like clean socks and toothbrushes.  Fundraising drives are being held to raise money for everyday necessities.  Families are donating their toys to children who have been displaced from their homes and staying in local shelters.  Every act of kindness makes a difference and is appreciated. 
From all of us at Camp Iroquois Springs, we hope you are safe and are being given the support you need during this difficult time.  We wish everyone the best and have you all in our thoughts.