Posts Tagged ‘ staten island ’

Helping Hurricane Sandy Victims. Still.

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

There are a few causes I am passionate about. One is helping others through running. When I ran the NYC Marathon under Team For Kids we raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. The money went to fund health and fitness programs for kids in low-income areas. I got to run one of the most amazing marathons in the world and children benefited.

This year, a good friend of mine asked me to lace up my shoes and run the Staten Island Half Marathon for her team, Race2Rebuild. The organization was founded by NYC athletes to support the nationwide nonprofit, Rebuilding Together, a 25-year old safe and healthy housing organization that brings together volunteers and communities to improve the lives of low-income homeowners.

The race is on October 13 and for a bunch of reasons, including the fact I only run 3-5 miles right now and live in Los Angeles, I had to decline. However, her cause is worthy and I wanted to share it in case anyone wants to lace up or donate. Or both. If nothing else, you can “Like” their cause and “Follow” their movement. Every click counts.

We all know what Hurricane Sandy did to parts of the east coast, particularly Staten Island. It killed people and devastated entire towns. Beachfront residents there saw 15-foot waves tear their homes from their foundations. There are still thousands of displaced families. Volunteer groups like this are still out daily going through wreckage and ruin, helping families salvage whatever they can. We are coming up on the year anniversary of the storm, though in many ways and to many people, it still feels like yesterday.

The race on October 13th is to help rebuild a veteran’s home that was destroyed in the Midland Beach neighborhood of Staten Island. This is about as grassroots as it gets. In doing Like, Follow, Give, you are directly helping someone get back on their feet. The goal for Race2Rebuild on Oct 13th is to raise $15,000.

Here are the details to help:

Like: facebook.com/Race2Rebuild
Follow: twitter.com/Race2Rebuild
Give: www.crowdrise.com/Race2RebuildSIHalf

When you give on the Race2Rebuild Crowdrise site, click DONATE (top right) and select “Virtual Team.”

If you want to lace up for the race and join the team with a $1000 fundraising goal, registration details are here: http://www.race2rebuild.org/register/

As their motto states: RACE HARD. RACE WITH RESOLVE. RACE2REBUILD.

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An Uplifting Poem For New York

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

We all know New York is struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. All five boroughs. New Jersey too. But we also all know what a resilient city it is. One only has to remember September 11th.

My niece Rachel visited us when we lived in Brooklyn. During her senior year of high school, she wrote this poem.  I was just so impressed by her insight and perception. She was only 14 years old when she came, but the memory held on so vividly.

She is now a freshman in college, studying journalism. I’ve been saving this poem for the right time to post. Figured now is it. Just like Sinatra says, “Come on, Come through, New York, New York, New York.”

 The Sole of New York, New York

By Rachel Johnston 

The sun shines above the smog,

illuminating life, language, and love

for this city’s bright eyes.

New shoes become old and worn here

within a mere morning of travel.

They’re sore, bruised, dirty,

but singing a Sinatra tune.

They smile as they conquer

miles of concrete, of storefronts,

of Main Street, of Wall Street.

They look to the sky.

Feed us, they say.

They stumble down stairs

that reveal a dark underworld.

Sparks, rats, bustling bodies,

the homeless and the senseless.

They stumble up stairs

that break through to daylight.

Toes scuffed and laces soggy,

the shoes smile still

just now with broken teeth.

This time, they peer down

at tiny taxis and tacky tourists.

They are not afraid of heights;

they are indestructible, unstoppable.

They are on top of the world.

These soles are experienced,

enlightened, musically inclined,

bold, logical, beautiful, free,

native to city life.

Photo of NYC Skyline via Shutterstock

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