I have several friends and a family member in the path of Hurricane Sandy. As I began checking up on them and offering my prayers, my mind inevitably turned toward those who are alone, elderly, poor and homeless. Where will they go for shelter? Do they have someone to check up on them and lend them a hand? What if they don’t have enough money to stock up on food and water? I mentioned my thoughts about the poor and the elderly to our dear friends Danielle and Tim. They’re practically family-an auntie and uncle to my children. This is what Danielle reported. They live in Manhattan:
Thanks, Marlena. I was out walking today, doing some last minute errands, and I was looking up at the dark sky, noticing the heavy winds, and worrying about those who are left outside or who couldn’t relocate. There was this disheartening story on the local news about an elderly couple who, by the time they could get to a store, discovered that all the generators had been taken which means if they lose power, they’ll have no way of refrigerating his insulin. Turns out some people here have been greedy to the point where they are buying dozens of flashlights and a couple of backup power generators per family. Tim went to buy some bottled water today and everything was cleaned out. So, if things do turn out badly over here I hope those who stocked up with plenty will be willing to share with those who didn’t have the money or means of picking up what they need like that elderly couple. I also kept my eye out for any animals who might need a space in our home- I can’t stand to think of the lost pets or strays who might be killed in the storm : (….We’ll let you know how things went over here as soon as we’re able.
If you’re reading this and are in the path of the storm, might you think of your neighbors? Are there some people you could be checking on? And is there anything you can share? If you attend church, could you call the leaders of your church to see if you could pool together resources for those who have less? Flashlights, batteries, blankets, generators food or water? Perhaps churches can work together with synagogues and mosques to reach out to their local communities.
Do you need any help?
It didn’t even occur to me to think about those who need their medicine refrigerated. How can you be a good neighbor? And how can those of us not in the path of the storm help you?
While it was Hurricane Sandy that spurred these thoughts, it is imperative that we be mindful of these needs all the time. Natural disasters, power-outages and cold weather just exacerbate the suffering of many. May we show our neighbors love and grace instead of acting on greed.