Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy LDR Relief

I had resisted putting up a report on this, but enough time has passed.

Firstly, I am not looking to "Attaboys" or "Way to go's".  This is a story of how good motorcycle riders are.  I am not looking to show how cool or helpful I am.  This is a story or ordinary people making things happen.

Sandy hit and hit us Hard, October 29.  My work was without power, as was my home.  Kate and I both spent the entire week at work.  At the time, she worked in a Hotel, so it was OK for her.  They had power and water.  My work and home were without.  I got home twice in the course of the week, just enough time to crash and then return.

There was no power in most of the state and therefore no gas.  I had people coming in from PA to work and they were bringing 5 gallon cans of gas for the generators.  I used one or two to put fuel in my car, so I could work.

By Saturday, work had power, but home had not.  I was cooked and went home, where Kate was waiting for me.  She had made me a bath by boiling water on the stove and pouring it into the bathtub.  This was the first warm shower/bath I had had sine Monday AM.  It is amazing how much better getting clean can make you feel.

Sunday AM, I woke up to power at the house.  It felt great.  About 30 minutes later, I was feeling guilty.  Why should I relax when so many others were having a hard time?  Tailgate Joe announced he was bringing his tailgate machine and TVs to the Staten Island Rescue center to provide free food.  I figured I would bring some deserts for the kids and anyone else who wanted to come.

I grabbed my GS and went to the store.  I picked up batteries and food, as much as I could carry, which is a lot with those piano case panniers I have.  I rode out to Coney Island, where my friend Anna was involved in recovery efforts.  Met her at her rescue location and dropped half of my supplies.  They were all very grateful, and the cops didn't mind that I parked my bike on the sidewalk, since I was delivering food and such.

Stopped by the Cyclone, and it was standing, but turns out there was a bunch of damage to it.

Continued my ride out to Staten Island.  The rescue center was at a huge HS field, which was great, but there was only 1 two lane road in and out.  Stupid choice of location, with people struggling to get in and out.  Given that I had my GS, I rode the sidewalk for a mile or so, to get to the delivery point.

A cop jumped out at me, as I got there, and started yelling about "WTF are you doing", "where do you think you are going", etc.  I opened my top case and showed him the stuff, and it was then "right this way, sir".  Dropped off a bunch of supplies to the Red Cross and then Tailgate Joe.

On my way back to NJ, I asked several cops what they needed.  D cell batteries.  Well, there were no D Cell batteries to be had, but using some dimes and tape, you can make C cells work good enough as D cells.  One more trip for me, and I delivered the batteries to any cop I could find.

At this point, I was out of money, fuel and time.  I had done my best, and made a little impact on some people's lives.

On Monday, a friend on Facebook put up a picture of a ruined house and tagged me in the photo.  I asked him why, and he told me this was a house I had lived in when I lived in Sayreville, NJ.  Unlike most people, I moved about 20 times when I was a kid, so I don't remember a lot of the houses I lived in.  I had no idea Sayreville was hit so hard.

I had to do something.  But I was out of money.  So I reached out to my friends in the Long Distance Rider community.  I asked for donations, so I could buy supplies for Sayreville.  Within hours, donations flowed in from all over the country in all denominations.  We managed to put together almost $750 in that time frame.

I went to Walmart, and bought a large amount of flashlights and clothes.  I asked the store manager if he could help out and he provided me with a $50 gift card, which we used right then and there.

 Paypal Donations from the LD community: $617.49
 Donations to Sayreville Sandy survivors:
208 Flashlights
77 Kids shirts
 $150 cash

Total: $646.12

Text I got from my friend, who was the final delivery point for the stuff and $:

Shirts and flashlights dropped off at OLV. I'm taking the check to the proper steward first thing in the AM. The sight of awe on the faces of the cop that had me drive right up on the sidewalk, and the volunteers who helped unload was a sight to behold! Wow! Oh my God! Whoahh!!! Was all I heard. You have done a fine thing today and it was my pleasure and honor to help you accomplish it. Ill talk to ya tomorrow Bro.

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