I left Long Island feeling confused, and honestly pretty disappointed. Why is there not more humanitarian aid going to communities like the one I was in today, and why is our federal government not involved in getting power restored? I also left there knowing there is much more work to be done, and that it is up to people to help each other.
The principal of Oceanside High School, after marveling gratefully at our collection of donations, essentially begged me to return with school supplies for their elementary school. It was completely flooded, and all the school supplies destroyed. Lockers were also flooded, so books and backpacks were also lost. I could have told him I was too busy with holiday travel plans, and my kids’ birthdays and getting ready for Christmas, but it is up to people like me, and all of you, to help each other.
The generosity of our human spirit feeds the resiliency of theirs. I cannot express to you how much your donations were valued and appreciated by the community of Oceanside.
Valerie Natoli Paquette
Editor’s note: Paquette will be returning to Oceanside, N.Y., on Friday, Nov. 30, with school supplies for an elementary school. Donations can be dropped off at three homes: 27 Little Pond Road, Merrimac, leave in shed if not home; 9 Cherry Tree Lane, Groveland; and 22 Milk St., Newburyport, leave in shed if not home.