Posts Tagged ‘Midland Beach’

Manning the frontlines; Catholic Charities takes the forefront of Hurricane Sandy Relief

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg shakes hands with Catholic Charities Staten Island Director Michelle LaVignera at the Staten Island Restoration Center.

By Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities is manning the frontlines, going door to door and staffing newly established restoration centers to help those hurt by Hurricane Sandy.

Staff are assisting at the New York City Restoration Centers now open every day, Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., in neighborhoods hardest hit by the super storm.  The Centers provide a single site to gather information, referral and support from government programs such as FEMA, private programs such as homeowners insurance and nonprofit and volunteer services.

Catholic Charities staff and volunteers have also mobilized to canvas the needs of homeowners struggling in neighborhoods hardest hit by the super storm.  This past weekend volunteers fanned out throughout Midland Beach in Staten Island, knocked on residents’ doors, assessed needs, and brought food, water, and other supplies from the Catholic Charities donation and distribution outpost established at the Disaster Assistance Service Center at the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin (MIV) Mount Loreto in Staten Island.

We are here to serve the multiple needs of everyone in the community, non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

We are here now and we will be here for the long term.

Do you need help?

Come to our new Disaster Relief Site:

1976 Hylan Blvd

Staten Island 10306

Call Catholic Charities Toll-free Helpline: (888) 744-7900

Click here for more resources and information

Would you like to help others recover?

Text SANDY to 85944 to make a one-time $10 donation


Chased from their homes by Hurricane Sandy, families find shelter and safety.

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

A father whose home in Midland Beach was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy sat in the main lounge of Mt. Manresa Jesuit Retreat House’s in Staten Island on November 7, the night of the nor’easter, watching out the window as his young daughter laughed and made snowmen with other children.  Just over one week earlier, the dad huddled on his roof with his three young children while storm winds whipped around them and waves lapped their feet.

”I’m so glad she can be out here and all she’s thinking about is snow balls and snow men and going to school tomorrow,” he told the retreat house Executive Director Fred Herron.

Thirty-one families chased from their homes in Midland Beach, Staten Island, one of the neighborhood hardest hit by the super storm, have found shelter and safety at Mt. Manresa, the oldest retreat house for laity in the United States.

“People say to me that ‘I’m not Catholic but I feel special here; I feel safe here,’” Mr. Herron told Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan on JustLove, Catholic Charities weekly radio program. Listen to their conversation aired today, November 17, on Sirius XM Channel 129.

In Hurricane Sandy’s Wake; People’s Lives Left on Their Lawns

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Porcelain sinks and leather couches, family photos and TVs tumbled onto former housing lots where only brick staircases remain in Staten Island’s Midland Beach, the neighborhood slammed by the worst of Hurricane Sandy’s wrath.  With temperatures dropping into the 30s, people burned kitchen chairs for warmth.

“I saw people’s lives on their lawns,” said Michael Neely, assistant to the director of Catholic Charities Staten Island.  He and his boss, Joe Panepinto, director of Catholic Charities Staten Island, used phones, Facebook, family and friends to pull together a small army of more than 100 Catholic Charities staff, CYO coaches and volunteers last weekend to help hundreds of those hurt by the hurricane begin to rebuild their lives.

They began on Saturday with a map of Midland Beach.  They split themselves into groups of three, then went lot to lot to learn what storm victims needed most.  Mr. Neely manned a cell phone, sent staff, CYO coaches and volunteers to pick up water, clothing, blankets, whatever folks said they needed most, and sent another group to deliver these supplies.

To take the pulse of what else was needed Mr. Panepinto went that night to mass at Holy Rosary Parish, a church in the South Beach section of Staten Island that lost parishioners to the storm. Mr. Neely met with others there the following morning.

One of the volunteers, David Cardinale, president of USATees and a retired New York City firefighter, knocked on the door of an elderly couple who told him that they smelled gas.  Mr. Cardinale entered the home, asked for a pair of pliers and turned off four pilot lights on the stove that could have blown up the house at any point.

The group reconvened on Sunday at the expansive parking lot on the corner of Fr. Capodanno Blvd. and Hunter Ave. in Midland Beach where FEMA, the mayor’s office and a host of other groups and organizations had set up tents.  They helped organize mountains of donations – from hot pizzas, to down coats and disposable diapers – that came streaming in from nearby New Yorkers and  donors with license plates from as far away as North Carolina.

The Catholic Charities agencies in conjunction with the entire Archdiocese of New York is working closely with FEMA and other first responders to maximize resources available to those hit hard by the storm, non Catholics and Catholics alike.

“It’s like a war zone,” Mr. Neely said, “like something I never thought I would live long enough to see.”

Do you need help?

  • Call Catholic Charities Toll-free Helpline:  (888) 744-7900.
  • Click here for more resources and information

Would you like to help others recover?

Feeding the Hungry After Sandy: Emergency Food Distribution in NYC

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

On Saturday, November 3rd, Catholic Charities Executive Director Monsignor Kevin Sullivan participated with Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senator Chuck Schumer in the loading and distribution of emergency food at a New York City Armory in Manhattan. Catholic Charities staff and volunteers from around the city, in collaboration with other non-profit organizations, handed out emergency food and water to those suffering continuing hardships caused by Hurricane Sandy. Catholic Charities made a concerted effort to visit every home in one of the hardest hit areas of Midland Beach on Staten Island.

As Margaret Purvis, CEO of the Food Bank For New York City, noted, some people still had no water as of yesterday, so this donation was vital.

“We cannot plan a future if we’re hungry today,” she said. “These resources are needed on the ground, and because of today, we’re going to get them out there.”

As the immediate crises of power and flooding are dealt with, Catholic Charities is responding to the ongoing human needs caused by Sandy – particularly on Staten Island and Lower Manhattan. The entire community continues to demonstrate the resilience New Yorkers are famous for, along with the willingness to help neighbors in need.

If you’d like to help New Yorkers affected by the storm, donate to recovery efforts at www.catholiccharitiesny.org/donate or sign up to volunteer at www.catholiccharitiesnyvolunteer.org