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Island Trees Memorial Organizes Donation Drive for Sandy Victims

Members of the ITMMS staff, Student Leader Corps, and their families headed out into the community on Sunday, Nov. 11, in order to distribute much-needed items for Sandy victims. Credit: Island Trees
Members of the ITMMS staff, Student Leader Corps, and their families headed out into the community on Sunday, Nov. 11, in order to distribute much-needed items for Sandy victims. Credit: Island Trees
Editor's Note: The following letter is by Island Trees teacher Amanda Steele.

After organizing a successful donation drive for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, members of the ITMMS staff, Student Leader Corps, and their families headed out into the community on Sunday, Nov. 11, in order to distribute much-needed items. 

 The first stop was the Long Island Cares food pantry in Freeport that provides everything from groceries and clothing to job training. They were kind enough to give us a tour of their facility, providing a rewarding experience for all.  

The rest of the day took us on a journey we will never forget. We arrived in a caravan at the FEMA tent in Island Park with a plan to distribute our donations and volunteer our time in whatever way we could. Upon arrival, we were saddened to see so many businesses and homes destroyed and families in need. It was a sight that television and photographs cannot begin to do justice.  

As we began to unload our donations, we were approached by an employee of the town, begging us to follow her to an area of Oceanside where just as much was needed, yet there was no FEMA tent or town representatives there to help. We followed her to a church in Oceanside located in a neighborhood that was clearly devastated. Within minutes, we were given important jobs: setting up donation tables and making signs telling people to come and take whatever they needed. 

For the remainder of the day, we stayed at this location giving out supplies and going door-to-door in the hopes that we could reach as many residents as possible. The residents of Oceanside were amazing! Their sense of community and strength was evident, even during these difficult times. They were sharing with one another, worried they might take something someone may have a greater need for. People from other communities began coming to us, leaving donations and volunteering to help. At one point, members of our US Armed Forces were helping us to keep everyone safe by directing traffic!  

True to our Island Trees tradition, the families, staff, and students of our community gave selflessly and generously throughout this entire experience. We would like to extend a special thank you to the Lardi, Caffrey, Reilly, Ragusa, Sharkey, and DiPieta families for their time and enthusiasm.

We would also like to thank Mrs. Pitzer, Mr. Brennan, Mrs. Barfield, Mrs. Azar, and the Burns and Siniscalchi families for coming out to serve others; they are truly role models for our students.  

I am blessed to be a part of the Island Trees Community,

Amanda Steele
Connie November 14, 2012 at 10:25 AM
Thank you all for your hard work and dedication!

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