Bowery Mission Brightens Thanksgiving In Far Rockaway
There was a massive show of support for residents of hard-hit Far Rockaway Thursday as volunteers helped to make it a Thanksgiving to remember. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
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As the recovery from Hurricane Sandy goes on, it was far from a normal Thanksgiving in Far Rockaway Thursday. But there were plenty of reasons for hope at the First Church of God: Hundreds of volunteers, stacks of food, cleaning supplies and all kinds of household items. And of course a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
The Bowery Mission organized the event in conjunction with the Queens Pastors Network.
"We've seen many pastors here have called us said they're suffering down here, there's not a lot supplies, and there's no chance that they're going to have a dinner like we do in our homes, so we wanted to bring that to them," said Brian Johansson of the Bowery Mission.
It's clear just how much this kind of outreach and caring means to the people of this community, especially on this holiday.
"It looks absolutely beautiful, everything looks absolutely great and we are so blessed to have you guys do all this for us," said Beverly Fields, a Far Rockaway resident.
"You gotta budget every penny and it's hard, it's hard, but this is a great, I really appreciate it," said Nathanal Chomas, a Far Rockaway resident.
The experience of giving back and helping out was just as meaningful to the volunteers. Hundreds of people felt compelled to give back.
"I feel that I need to be here, we all need to be here, we need to help one another and we need to come together as a community to help one another," said Marlo Hirschfield, a volunteer.
"I wanted to show that I feel thankful for what I have and the people during Sandy don't really have anything so I've wanted to give something," said Amelia Hirschfield, a volunteer.
"It's a good way to just give back something and share in the community," said Kirk Diaz, a volunteer.
The outpouring of support is one thing Far Rockaway residents say they won't forget this holiday.
"It's been tough but we get a lot of help. I'm so thankful because we get a lot of help from the people, from agencies and Red Cross," said one Far Rockaway resident.
For more information on volunteering opportunities and how you can help others, you can visit bowery.org.