While schools impacted by Hurricane Sandy work on filing official claims with FEMA, they've already begun receiving new materials and supplies, and much of that outpouring of help is coming from private donors. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.
On the second floor at P.S. 188, it seemed like a normal December day, as students rehearsed for their annual holiday concert. On the third floor, students are focused on a math lesson.
But in the basement, Hurricane Sandy's impact is still clear. Dozens of computers. A band's worth of musical instruments. Decades of student records. Next semester's textbooks. Every piece of copy paper and toilet paper. And several classrooms' worth of new furniture.
"We lost quite a bit of material here," said Frederick Tudda, the principal of P.S. 188.
Schools across the city have spent the past month throwing out valuable supplies, but principals say help has come.
"We've heard from people across the United States who are willing to adopt 188 in different capacities, and they were looking to find out what we need," Tudda said.
Right away, they needed new backpacks and supplies for every student, and those came from the teachers' union. Then, it was winter coats and canned goods for their families. Now, it's supplies to replace what was lost in the basement.
The Department of Education's nonprofit arm, The Fund for Public Schools, has been matching donors with impacted schools. One donor was another public school system, located in Cumberland County, North Carolina. A year and a half ago, it was the victim of a natural disaster after a series of devastating tornadoes. Now, students and teachers are collecting supplies and money for P.S. 188. The donations are due to arrive at the end of next week.
"I have to tell you, sometimes events like this in the world bring out the best in people, and people come together," Tudda said.
At P.S. 188, where the staff is working very hard to make things seem as normal as possible for the students, the donations are critical. But just as critical is the knowledge that people all over have their back and support their recovery.