A Coney Island church sent out an “SOS: We have hungry people in need” and NYSUTs response was swift.
NYSUT Mid-Hudson Regional Staff Director Ann Harrison arranged for the immediate delivery of truckloads of food donated from the mid-Hudson region to a church-run soup kitchen on Staten Island.
Harrison thanked the NYSUT officers for expediting use of a rental truck to make the food delivery to the Fellowship Baptist Church in Brooklyn.
“One church member who helped unload was wearing a Metropolitan Transit Authority uniform, and once he heard my name he shouted to all the other helpers: ‘This is the lady from the teachers union we were told about,’ so our efforts were much appreciated,” Harrison said.
The food will supply a soup kitchen providing daily meals on Coney Island. There are dozens of large apartment buildings in this neighborhood and many seniors are trapped in their high-rise homes because the elevators don’t work, Harrison said, noting that the church initiated immediate deliveries of food to senior citizens who hadn’t eaten in three days.
Donated baby supplies are going to the Seagate community, which is less well known and apparently virtually cut off due to storm damage from Hurricane Sandy, Harrison reported.
A large staging area near the Coney Island amusement park is being staffed by relief organizations. The lines were enormous; literally thousands of people waiting on line to receive help, Harrison said.
NYSUT Vice President Kathleen Donahue, who is coordinating NYSUT relief efforts, said: “It is heartbreaking to hear how long these people have been without power, not to mention the losses they face. We have a great team in headquarters and in the field, and we will continue to do all we can to assist in providing needed assistance when and where we can.”
To help in the union’s storm relief efforts, go to NYSUT’s Disaster Relief Fund.