Hurricane Sandy: Bringing Out the Best
President's Update - October 31, 2012
As many of you know, The Bowery Mission's immediate neighborhood in Lower Manhattan looks somewhat normal by day -- except that streetlights are out and most business are closed. But at night, darkness covers streets without power. Hurricane Sandy was a calamity for New York City’s street homeless, an underreported story. There is nowhere to go that’s dry. Familiar places like doorways and grates are full of debris. The parks are barricaded. The subways are roped off. That’s why we’ve had an unprecedented number of overnight guests staying in every corner of our building -- three times the normal number. And yet we are serving each one of them with hot meals and a safe place to sleep. All with the use of a single generator.
But amidst all this hardship, a tribute to the human spirit under pressure has emerged. The residents of our recovery program have jumped in to help in extraordinary ways. Homeless themselves only a few weeks ago, they are now welcoming people at the door, setting up bedding, and suggesting ways we can serve our guests better. I’m sure you know a situation like this can go the other way. But we are so thankful that the unconditional caring we try to have for everyone -- based on God’s love for each of His creatures -- has come to life in the lives of our men in recovery.
That blessing has another side benefit. One of the best ways to lift your own spirits, even when seriously depressed, is to go help someone less fortunate than you. Our men have found this out in recent days, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, and we’re all better off for it.
New Yorkers, it seems, have a reputation for toughness but rise to the occasion to help their neighbors in calamity -- even when worse off than many of us. Thank you for your generous support during these times -- it’s an especially good time to help The Bowery Mission.
President & CEO