It's a difficult to understand disasters and the aftermath. We see them on cable stations and our local news stations. Homes that are ripped from foundations in tornadoes, buildings bought to rubble in earthquakes, tsunamis that roar through villages leaving death tolls that become just a figure. That is till you're in one. Pictures don't show the smell of mold and tears of many too proud to realize that our lives are forever imprinted with a nightmare.My name is Liz Treston, I live in Long Beach, NY. October 29, 2012 seems so distant for many that did not have the Atlantic come surging through it's city and front door. We were lost, devastated by the sheer destruction. We're also stereotypical New Yorkers. We wanted things fixed and back to normal the next day. We were in for a sad awakening.I don't know how we met. I was helping my neighbors gather information from disaster relief groups. There were many names. There are many souls upon this planet given a calling that says I refuse to let others give up. There will be hope and a tomorrow.My hope and a number of souls came to City, in a white van with NECHAMA written on the side. My family was assessing our damage. It was cold. We were lucky in many ways no one was hurt. The van stopped at my house. I was expecting another offer a water and a meal as I protected myself in a cocoon of uncertainty."We're here to help", said a young man. His face clean shaven and his hands with recent callouses. "Think we're okay". I knew their were others who were in worse shape then myself. When you're in the thick of the guts of your house laying in the street you don't think clearly. You worry about others. Maybe this man saw my soul. He slipped me a card and said to call when I was ready. I gave him the names of neighbors that I knew needed more help.That's what happens. You see kindness and a glimmer of a sense that things will be okay.In a few months it will be 4 years since Superstorm Sandy slid up from the South and stole out houses. It never stole our souls though because of the men and women from places that come to post disaster areas like NECHAMA.I hope that you can give to this incredible selfless group. You truly never know when a disaster will come. I am glad to know that when the water recedes NECHAMA will be there for you. When the water did recede in Long Beach I became an active member in learning and disseminating information. With the guidance of Dorothy Maples and others from the Long Term Recovery Groups we started our own non-profit to help our residents prepare for future emergencies. Again without NECHAMA and it's continuous efforts across boundaries and borders too many souls will feel lost. Help them let those in disaster areas find their way home.
I have only known of Nechama for a few years but I have been very impressed by what I've seen. I watch their website and keep up with their deployments because it is fascinating to see how hard they work. I've been to their office/warehouse and found it very interesting - the equipment is fascinatina and when I met some of the board members and saw how committed they are I could see what a wonderful organization this is. They get nothing in return but the wonderful feeling of helping others.
People want to control their lives but when Weather disasters happen, they are exposed to this unpredictable turn of events. This is where Nechama excels. They help bring assistance to those who need help with clean up after a storm or flood has affected whole neighborhoods. I have been a volunteer doing debris clearing. I have helped with fund raising and gladly share what I can by donating cash that can be used to buy supplies, perform maintenance on their equipment. What a worthy non-profit. What an positive impact it makes on people who just do not know where to turn in this emergency for which they have no control.
What a worthy group. When people are most vulnerable after a weather disaster, Nechama (Hebrew for comfort) works with local agencies to bring resource to clean up operations to those in need. I am a cash donator, a worker volunteer and a back office helper. Even though I have not been a victim of weather, I can only imagine with home loss is like to to circumstances beyong anyone's control. The group is highly organized with web sites, email notifications, communication programs. The logistics to respond are superior due to a dedicate forward team to determine where the most appropropriate help can be deployed. I have worked on the clean up on several floods and tornados. Often, the clean up could be weeks or months after the dozens of groups volunteer upon hearing the news. But, Nechama steadily seeks the opportunities to make impact for improvements. With flooding, the mold and mud abatement is often months after the damage so the victims are affected on a continual basis. From the leadership who gathers donations to the workers who a frugal in their spending to the volunteer the whole team makes a major difference one home, one location, one city and one disaster at a time.
Volunteers at this organization live their personal philosophy by taking time out of their own lives to do something that is purely good: helping disaster victims. The world needs more groups like this one.