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Gratitude After the Storm

I’ve started and stopped this post dozens of times. I want to tell you some contradictory things. I am grateful. I am so very grateful. And I am hurting. I am hurting so deeply.

Hurricane Sandy ripped through our region, leaving much of Long Island without power–we were without power for a week and my mother-in-law lost power for two weeks.We had gas lines and gas rationing and I had to drive my husband to emergency National Guard duty because he couldn’t get any gas at any price.

And you know what we learned, huddled in front of our fireplace with our flashlights? Electricity is a luxury. A nice luxury but not a necessity.

During tiny snatches of connectivity on my phone, I saw the photos of homes destroyed in the Rockaways, Lindenhurst, Staten Island, and throughout New Jersey…I heard the horrific stories of people watching or hearing their friends and family drowning, unable to help.

We also learned that our neighbors and friends and family and community are strong, compassionate, and generous. From the neighbor who made the kids hot chocolate with his generator to the friend who has taken on the task of finding families in need and matching them with sponsors to the Lindenhurst teacher who just showed up in that community with food and blankets and found herself running a refugee camp of sorts…these people care deeply.

We lost power, we lost trees, including the tree where our dear raccoon family lived.

It is such a small thing but, darn it, it upset my kids. We liked our raccoon neighbors. We hope they got out before the storm.

And this is the tree that almost hit our house but did not. Thank God.

And, in the middle of this…we lost our unborn baby. I wasn’t sure I was going to say it but there it is.

What we haven’t lost is our passion for democracy, our empathy, our resilience, or our hope for the future.

Our family was lucky, so very lucky. We have each other. We have our home.

So, I am going to ask you to please try to reach out and help someone this season. Please consider helping the people affected by this horrible storm. Or, if there are people in need closer to home, and there always are, please reach out and lend a hand. Even if you don’t have money, help someone clean, sing a song, play some games–give love and give hope.

Here are some ways you can help in the Northeast…please consider giving to these local groups, not to big, national organizations with high overhead that take your money and do not follow-up with what the families need most:

  • Volunteer 4 Long Island Adopt-a-Family: has about 40 families on Long Island in desperate need of help to get back on their feet after the Hurricane. If you would like to donate directly to a family in need, please e-mail or call 631-624-1322 and ask for Jeanine. Or go to: She has identified about 40 families in need at this point. My daughter’s girl scout troop has adopted 1…wish I could adopt them all! This organization can also accept new, unwrapped gifts to distribute for the holidays.
  • Camp Bulldog at Lindenhurst: This grassroots organization, founded by a Girl Scout coordinator and teacher, is helping the community rebuild itself. They are in DESPERATE need of gift cards to Home Depot and Lowes. Please Contact Debbie or visit or connect on Facebook. This organization can also accept new, unwrapped gifts to distribute for the holidays.
  • It Takes a Family:Founded by Melissa Chapman, owner and editor of, and Corine Ingrassia, owner and editor of, It Takes A Family, brings families effected by Hurricane Sandy (primarily on Staten Island) together with families who want to help them. “It Takes A Family To Lift A Family Through Hard Times”
  • Long Island Cares
  • More ideas on Long Island Social Media Moms

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Written by

Candace Lindemann, Yale, BA, Harvard Graduate School of Education, EdM, is an educational consultant and published writer. She enjoys new learning experiences with her children, ages 6 and 4 and 1.5.

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One Response to "Gratitude After the Storm"

  1. Terri says:

    I am so very, very sorry for your loss. Thanks for this hopeful and helpful post.