Queens helps out during Sandy's aftermath
by Maria Thompson
Nov 07, 2012 | 2434 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Less than a month ago, we were enjoying a beautiful sunny and 70-degree day at our Annual Wonderful Woodhaven Street Festival, then Sandy came to us with a vengeance. What a difference a few weeks can make.

She hit us with strong wind and rain, leveled our trees, stirred the ocean and the bays with water rushing into homes and businesses, weakening walls and foundations and then came the horrendous fires all bringing destruction and death to our Queens neighbors in Breezy Point, Hamilton Beach, Beach Channel, and the Rockaways.

The devastation was citywide and affected many parts of our five boroughs, but Staten Island and our Queens areas took the hardest hit. In the midst of all the destruction we mobilized to help. In Woodhaven, it was Assemblyman Mike Miller's Office and the Woodhaven Residents Block Association that contacted Woodhavenites to drop off clothing and canned food for our neighbors that are so destitute.

It always has been said that when in need angels are sent to help, and they responded. People were lined up dropping off clothing, blankets, and canned goods. The generosity of our Woodhaven's “angels” continued with volunteers sorting, packing and transporting the collected items to the needy locations.

Our Jamaica Avenue stores and businesses got involved and were very magnanimous. It was contagious, and those who could not give clothing or groceries gave money. The generosity of our Little Woodhaven Community was out and continues to be amazing.

The Woodhaven Residents Block Association still needs volunteers, for they are now going to concentrate on food distribution, which the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation and the Woodhaven Business Improvement District will be assisting. The NYPD has set up a collection location at the Racino at Aqueduct, so you can drop clothing, etc., there and also volunteer to assist in sorting and transporting. The FDNY and NYPD are doing a great job.

Also at our 102nd Precinct, we have a new Commanding Officer, Captain Henry Sautner, and a new Executive Officer, Captain Craig Adelman. Our great previous Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Armando Deleon has been transferred. We thank Deputy Inspector DeLeon for his professional excellent assistance and support during these past three years and wish him well in his new assignment. We also welcome Captain Henry Sautner to our Precinct and we look forward to working with him and his executive officer.

The telephone number for the 102nd Precinct is (718) 805-3200; Community Affairs is (718) 805-3215. Other important numbers are FEMA (1-800-621-FEMA) for assistance with claims. Also, for any lost pets due to the storm to reunite with owners call (347) 573-1561. Petsmart Stores are offering free veterinarian care through November 11. (These pet notes courtesy of Jamie).

Many years ago (44 years) when I came to Woodhaven, my mother-in-law said that Woodhaven was blessed. Through the years, this has proved to be true. Again it has been proven for our community was very fortunate for we were not affected as badly as we could have been. We've have had telephone service and electricity disruptions, but our J Line is running into Manhattan. Also, some trees were uprooted but it could have been worse.

As to our trees, as you know we lost our beautiful Forest Parkway Plaza Christmas Tree. Our tree last year was named the third best tree in the City of New York by the NY Daily News, after only Rockerfeller Center and Lincoln Center.

I remember when the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation planted it 27 years ago. Its loss has been a very sad occurrence. At this time, we are working on securing a tree for our Woodhaven Business Improvement District's Tree and Menorah Lighting Ceremony on December 7.

It's so good to see that the day after the storm, Woodhaven's everything Jamaica Avenue stores and businesses were open and taking care of BIDness. May God bless our armed forces, may God bless our leaders, may God bless our disabled veterans, and may God bless our America.
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