If we’ve learned anything from Sandy, it’s that we see how quickly things can get out of hand.

The day after hurricane Sandy shocked the Northeast few fathomed it could have possibly taken this long to restore “everyone’s” power, repair homes, residential buildings and retail establishments. And we now face the hard truth that tens of thousands of residents in our region remain displaced from destroyed homes and apartment buildings, some with electricity but no heat, many of which may not be restored at all. And think about the massive numbers of people that were not paid for several weeks because their places of work or small businesses were damaged. All this makes the gas lines, limited transit services and extended commutes look like the minor inconveniences they really are.

This was a storm with no limits to it's destruction. There were vacation homes of New York’s wealthiest turned to piles of scrap materials while many who could least afford to lose anything were hit hard. The massive impact of this hurricane struck me the most while talking to a friend living in a million dollar home in South Orange with no power for two weeks, then minutes later discussing how best to help another who’d lost everything in the Rockaway’s.

The truth is we’re dealing with more needy neighbors this Holiday Season than we’ve had in probably many years. From Paterson NJ to Long Island, we’re seeing more and more need. And as usual it can’t be up to big organizations to fix. We have to play a part.

This season, WBLS will has information on-air and online on how you can help. In the meantime please make a donation to your local food bank. Many local houses of worship have food pantries. Please support AND volunteer if you can. There are also plenty of local non-profits working hard to help. And don’t forget local toy drives. There are many families that have yet to think about gifts for their children due to immediate needs for food and shelter.

Together we have the ability to speed up a storm recovery process that will stretch into 2013 and beyond! Let’s Pray and let’s take action!

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