An update on Sandy impact & response

Dear PS3 Community,We’ve been back in school for a week now – and what a week it’s been…
Yes, we made it through the election of 2012.
But we want to talk to you about Superstorm Sandy, its impact and our community response.

We are continually amazed and inspired by the compassion, initiative, resolve and capacity of our PS3 community.

Here’s what we can report:Impact:

  1. Superstorm Sandy hit many members of the PS3 community hard – teachers, staff and families have suffered displacement, property loss & damage, and general anxiety & discomfort.
  2. There are families who have still not been able to move back into their homes and/or are still living without power/heat.
  3. Two of our partner organizations – Battery Park Farm and Everybody Wins/Power Lunch – suffered extensive flooding and have not been able to reopen, directly impacting our programming.
  4. We expect several families, displaced by the storm, to join our community in the weeks ahead.It’s safe to say we’re all feeling a bit disoriented & discombobulated in the wake of this storm.

Response:

  • Our community has rallied in unbelievable ways to provide relief & support to families & communities impacted by the storm.
  • On election day, we helped get cars and trucks loaded up with clothing, food and urgently needed supplies that went to areas hardest hit. We had 10 packed vehicles go out to Seagate, The Rockaways, Coney Island, Long Beach, Brighton Beach and Staten Island.
  • We baked goods for our election day bakesale, and all the proceeds went to help the residents of Westbeth in our own community who are still without heat and hot water. Specifically, at the request of Westbeth organizers, we bought electric blankets and we are helping to fund hot meals for elderly residents there.
  • Parents & teachers at their own initiative drove meals & supplies out to The Rockaways, Brighton Beach, Staten Island etc., serving soup, lasagna, spanikopita, bagels, etc. to folks, many of whom hadn’t eaten for days.
  • Parents worked to obtain emergency absentee ballots for residents of Westbeth stranded on upper floors.
  • A  delegation of PS3 parents & kids headed out to The Rockaways on Saturday to help in the PS3 parent-run Rockaway Waterfront Alliance’s “re:Rockaway” project to revive, rebuild & renew the area. Parents who participated reported having an amazing experience being part of a well-organized, effective clean-up effort, literally digging sand out of a devastated neighborhood.
  • Proceeds from our Square Dance & Costume Ball this Fri. Nov. 16 will go to relief efforts at several community organizations.
  • Parents are planning a fundraiser in the coming weeks at parent-owned local bar, Wicked Willie’s, to raise funds to replace the personal instruments of our beloved music teacher, Bruce Mack, whose collection was destroyed by flooding in his Staten Island apartment.
As a city, and a community, and in many different ways, we have been hit hard by this storm. And we have responded with customary grace & resolve. A GIGANTIC THANK YOU to everyone who has volunteered, donated, sorted, baked, bought, drove, rode along, loaded and unloaded.
So now what?  If you are looking for a way to help right now… come to our PTA meeting tonite (Tues. Nov. 13 @ 6:15pm in Room 310) and connect with other parents & teachers who want to make a difference. And look for news via Terry’s eBlasts and/or class parent emails about ongoing relief efforts & opportunities.
With love & gratitude,
Nick & Susan
Your PTA co-Presidents

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