Staying Strong After Sandy


Courtesy of Francesca Vaccaro

Volunteers Sifting Through the Rubble at New Dorp Beach, Staten Island

Aisha Bhoori, Co-News Editor

While Hurricane Sandy may have ravaged our homes, knocked down our trees, and stripped us of our electricity, she did not dampen our spirit; quite to the contrary. During the two-week break from school, many South students volunteered their time and energy, soaring to the occasion and helping the community as is the Eagle tradition.

One such samaritan is junior Francesca Vaccaro. A Staten Island native, Vaccaro  visited her hometown of New Dorp Beach to aid her neighbors as they scavenged through the rubble. For three days, Francesca joined volunteers from the tri-state area in their quest to rebuild the island: “I brought cleaning supplies and food for everyone. My family and I boarded up windows of houses and gave out clothes.”

Not only was this a humbling experience for Vaccaro, but also a personal one; “I spent hours looking through the rubble with my neighbor for her belongings. But the ecstatic look on her face after we found her wedding and baby pictures in the street reassures me that, in the end, my efforts were worth it.”

Though she recognizes the immense devastation wrought by Sandy, Francesca has hope in the rejuvenating power of compassion: “The damage in Staten Island is indescribable. It almost appears as if a bomb went off in a third world country. Although the people have nothing, they give all they have left. They offer food, shelter, clothes, cleaning supplies, and helping hands. These people show that kindness never dies.”