Political division, general officers in trouble and Superstorm Sandy. Our region has recently endured a blizzard of negative news. The recent election has exposed a nation divide. Strife and division abound.
However, despite all this, our country continues to bear the fruits of common purpose. This is no better demonstrated than through the tremendous unity and giving of resources and time for the survivors of Superstorm Sandy both within our own community and those farther up the East Coast.
During the recent natural disaster, some area residents within the Burke/Springfield communities lost power. Others experienced downed trees in their yards and damage to their homes.
Sarah Lewis, a new resident to the area, quickly became acquainted with the outpouring of generosity by her neighbors, when her power went out. “My family of four is so grateful for the opportunity to be stationed here in the DC area with several special friends, made through our 20 years in the military together," she said. "These friends readily offered themselves and their warm homes to us during the storm. While one such friends' home remained with power, she offered to bring our 'powerless' household a home-cooked, piping hot meal!” shared Lewis.
Deanna Cox, another Burke resident, used social networking to let her family and friends know they were safe and mentioned that a large tree that had come down in their driveway. Again the community responded as a few friends from Burke Community Church saw the post and organized a crew to help out with the removal of the tree.
“The tree was gone within three hours," she said. "God showed His protection and care through it all. What could have been a terrible situation ended up in a festive spirit. One man even thanked us for letting him help. Where else, does someone thank you for letting them help you?” asked Cox.
While most residents in our community have returned to a more regular routine, many of our neighbors in New Jersey and New York continue to struggle with the powerful losses that Superstorm Sandy brought. Many people have lost not only the comforts of their homes, but the essentials for life. The needs are widespread and the people of our country continue to unite with determination to help others in need.
As of Nov. 12, Red Cross donations are at $131 million and growing. In addition, the Salvation Army has raised $5 million for the relief efforts. On Nov. 5, ABC and Disney teamed up and raised $16.8 million in the ‘Day of Giving’ for the Red Cross.
Now is the time for the comforted to bring comfort to others. There are several ways to donate without having to leave our community.
- Sangster Elementary, at 7420 Reservation Dr. in Springfield, is a drop-off location for donations through Saturday, Nov. 17. The following items are in great need: baby diapers (various sizes), children's clothes, pet food and supplies, jackets (adults, kids), cleaning supplies, shoes of all sizes (dress and sneakers), movies, cd's, and electronics. For further information or questions, please contact Dave Gillum or Allison Jankovich at (703)644-8200.
- The “Do Something Club” at Lake Braddock Secondary School is also a drop-off site for new and gently used clothing, blankets, work gloves, socks, undergarments empty gas cans, flashlights, and cleaning supplies. Donations can be put in the bins located in the main office, through Entrance 1 at the school. Donations will be accepted through Nov. 20.
- In addition, the American Red Cross is taking monetary donations online.
- The Salvation Army is receiving donations via checks and can be mailed to:
The Salvation Army Disaster Relief
Hurricane Sandy Relief
PO BOX 1959
Atlanta, GA 30301
- Lastly, the National PTA is accepting donations to be given to schools affected by Superstorm Sandy. For further information contact the National PTA Headquarters at 1-800-307-4782 or firstname.lastname@example.org.