Irish community comes out in force to help aid those affected by Hurricane Sandy
Loaded with hundreds of burgers and hotdogs, Daly started barbecuing at 125th and Beach Blvd.
“It was good for them to get something hot in their bellies.”
With no power in the area, the crew had to leave once darkness began closing in.
“There were no street lights, so once the sun went down, everyone had to leave.” Daly said. “It was like a ghost town.”
On Monday afternoon, Daly says the wooden stage in his bar was once again full with donations.
“I am not sure how we will get it down there,” Daly reflected. “But we will.”
Over in Long Island City, volunteers at the New York Irish Center were undertaking a similar effort.
“A lot of volunteers came from all over,” Paul Finnegan, the Executive Director at the New York Irish Center in LIC, told the Irish Voice.
“We are inundated by people who want to help.”
“One woman drove down here from two hours upstate.”
Not badly affected by the ravages of Sandy, the Center in LIC opened its doors on Wednesday. Donations immediately began to flood in.
“People were dropping off donations throughout the week,” Finnegan said. “By Saturday, we had filled up a truck.”
Working with another donation drop in Woodside, the volunteers from the center delivered supplies to St. Frances De Sales church in Rockaway on Saturday and Sunday.
During one of their drop offs at the Belle Harbor parish, journalist Katie Couric pitched in to help them upload their supplies.
“It was great to see everyone pitching in,” Finnegan said.
“There were national guard soldiers everywhere helping out,” Finnegan added.
Deputy Consul General Peter Ryan told the Irish Voice he was inspired by the work of the Irish community over the past week.
“I don’t think I have ever seen anything that has matched the response by [the Irish] community,” Ryan said.
“Situations like this bring out the best in people,” he told the Irish Voice. “I think it’s a feature of the community here in the States and New York.”
In the aftermath of Sandy, Ryan spent most of the latter end of last week visiting Irish centers throughout New York City.
“People in the community really wanted to help out and assist,” he said.
“They didn’t want to necessarily jump into a car and drive out to the worst affected areas, but they wanted to do something practical to help.
In Queens, the Bronx and Yonkers, Ryan described the efforts of the Irish community as impressive.
“A guy came into the Aisling Irish Center when I was up there and said, ‘I don’t have time to go to Costco and buy supplies, but here is a check’.”
"I was pretty awestruck," Ryan said. "Everyone is doing what they can."
The Aisling Irish Community Center on 990 McLean Avenue Yonkers, NY 10704
(914) 237-5121 are accepting the following donations. Cleaning supplies, baby food/formula/diapers; baby clothes; work gloves and masks; heavy duty trash bags; tools and shovels.
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