Before Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island on October 29, nine New Hyde Park Memorial High School students: Josh Johnikutty, Ancy Alexander, Tasnim Bhuiyan, Anup Kumar, Sami Chan, Pranay Mirchandani, Mariam Sheikh, Shikha Balaggan and Disha Mirchandani all took the initiative to help out at the Nassau Community College shelter.
The members of New Hyde Parks Red Cross Club came together to help set up cots, blankets, food, and other necessities at the emergency shelter to assist those evacuating from the daunting Hurricane Sandy.
“It was amazing to see people who don’t even know each other work together and help out for a good cause- we all had one goal: to help people in need,” Bhuiyan said. “We accomplished a lot in the few hours we spent setting up, and it was rewarding to see people safe and hopeful through all of this. It’s good for people to have reassurance.”
Alexander agreed, stating that although they were constantly on their feet and faintly injuring themselves while setting up cots, it was an enjoyable and memorable experience.
“Learning to work together as a group was great, and helping someone else in the process was really worthwhile. Seeing people come in and using the cots moments after we set them up was shocking,” she said. “Its good to know that although there were only about 30 high school kids, every person makes a difference in someone else’s life.”
With more and more people walking in, the volunteers worked hard and diligently to set up numerous cots in time for the hurricane. Hurricane Sandy was an example of an emergency situation and the Red Cross Club demonstrated their leadership and teamwork skills by volunteering their time to help out our community and keep families safe from the imminent natural disaster at the time.
“It was a great experience to watch all kinds of people, from the young to the elderly eagerly walk in for a place to stay,” Johnikutty, the president of the club, said.
The members of the club left smiles on countless faces through their hard work and countless hours of preparing the gymnasium, making it a suitable and comfortable shelter during Hurricane Sandy.
Editorial Note: this article was written by Disha Mirchandani.