Stories from Sandy: Amanda Crabbe

Greetings Milano,

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we will be running a series on your personal experiences from the storm. These can be stories of how the storm effected you and how you are coping, or stories of ways you helped out in your community. Have a suggestion for how others can help out? Share that too! We want to hear what got you through the storm, as well as ways that Milano students are supporting and helping rebuild our community. Contact us at milanocommunications@newschool.edu.

Story Submitted by Amanda Crabbe

“Yesterday, Sunday, my mom and I went to Midland Beach on Staten Island, one of the most hard hit neighborhoods. We went with new sweatpants, sweatshirts, socks, tooth brushes, tooth paste and other hygiene items. Everyone we met was so incredibly gracious for both our donation and our concern in general. We came across a family who was clearing out their bungalow, basically everything they owned was strewn about their front lawn. We stopped to ask if they needed any items or help, and met the woman who owned the home. She asked us to place our box of donation items on the side of her home with the only materials she had left- two garbage bags filled with clothes and one suitcase. She shared her story with us: she did not evacuate during the storm, and was home with her young daughter and elderly mother who is an amputee.

The water rose up so high that it was up to their neck, where they realized they could not longer stay inside their home. They worked their way outside, and tried to hoist the elderly mother onto their roof. However, after one hour of trying and failing, they began to feel desperate. Thankfully, a young neighbor across the street saw their distress, and jumped out of their second story window, swam across the street, and hoisted them all up onto their roof. They stayed there, cold and freezing, for 10 hours until a boat came and brought them to higher ground.

After she shared her story, she apologized for being dirty, but asked if she could give us a hug. She was so grateful for our support, and even just being their to listen to her story. I’m sure many people have similar stories, but I am glad to be able to share her story with you. This woman, her family, and their neighbor are true examples of resilience during one of the worst storms to ever hit NYC.”


Here are a few organizations that are assisting in relief efforts:


NYC Government:
Various different ways to volunteer through the city, including food distribution, shelters, cleanups, and more.
Occupy Sandy:
Frequently-updated grassroots aid initiatives, from cleanups to goods distribution.
Various projects throughout the region, searchable by neighborhood and type of project. Many projects are helping small local nonprofits, as well as sending volunteers to the NYC gov and Red Cross efforts. Volunteers have to create an online account, but don’t have to attend the usual new-volunteer training.
Red Cross:
The greatest need is volunteers to work in the shelters, especially overnight. There may be some delay in hearing back from them, and they require some flexibility from their volunteers, but they do desperately need help, so if you’re able and willing to do work in shelters or distributing goods, please do sign up with them.

1 comment

  1. Meghan

    This is a lovely story, Amanda. Thank you for sharing both this story and your time. I am sure that both the donations and your listening made a world of difference to this woman who has been through so much.

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