In Sandy's Wake

 

In Sandy's Wake

November 5, 2012

We know you are feeling as concerned as we are. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, millions in the Northeast are without electricity, food or water. Many homes have been destroyed or are so damaged that people cannot live in them. Too many have been injured and tragically dozens have lost their lives. All of us at AJWS are thinking about those most affected, including members our staff who were forced to flee their homes. We are holding all who have been harmed by Sandy in our hearts and prayers.

As we know from responding to international disasters for more than two decades, this is a crucial moment for recovery efforts. We urge all of our supporters to volunteer and give locally. Although AJWS focuses on aiding poor countries in the developing world, we understand that helping and healing close to home are crucial.

Before it wreaked havoc along the East Coast, Hurricane Sandy hit Haiti, a country with few resources. For years, AJWS has been supporting grassroots community groups in Haiti who are helping to rebuild in the wake of the 2010 earthquake, which shook that country to its core. For us, the damage wrought this week in the communities in which many of our supporters live in the U.S. reminds us that when disasters strike, the most vulnerable people are hit the hardest—whether they are vulnerable because they live on a coastline, because they live without basic needs like shelter, or because they live in a country such as Haiti, which lacks a functioning emergency response system. We are currently assessing how Sandy affected our partners in Haiti and are exploring how we might contribute to recovery efforts. We will keep you posted.

Despite the unprecedented problems we face in the wake of Sandy, we are very fortunate in the U.S. to have the resources and infrastructure we need to recover and rebuild. Most importantly, Hurricane Sandy reminds us that we have the power to make a difference. All over the Northeast, we have heard heartwarming stories of people pitching in, and we are inspired by the reminder of what we can accomplish when we act together as a community—whether to help our neighbors nearby or far away.

We wish you and those you love the strength you need as you rebuild your own lives and communities or help others recover.

Finally, we apologize if you wrote to AJWS last week and have not heard back from us. Our offices lost electric power and our e-mail server stopped working. We pride ourselves in responding to our friends, and please know we want to hear from you. If you wrote to us between Sunday, October 28 and Sunday, November 4, please be kind enough to resend your note, and we’ll get back to you.

With my warmest wishes and heartfelt concern,

Ruth W. Messinger
President, AJWS