For locals with ties to New York and New Jersey, the last two weeks in the wake of Hurricane Sandy have been hard.
Seeing destruction and suffering in a place you’ve called home—a place where you still have loved ones and cherished memories—is a difficult thing, and the Web has made it easy for us to watch the unfolding tragedy of Sandy from afar, delivering a constant stream of photos and fresh pain. It’s been hard for me to do anything but stare at pictures of the wreckage that was my community on the Jersey Shore, and I’ve heard the same from others who have moved from the hard-hit areas, and plenty of others who have no connections there at all—we just can’t look away.
We can, however, do something to help, and some are rallying others—friends, neighbors, customers—to the cause.
Drew Hart, owner of the Downtown Mediterranean restaurant Camino, is a Westchester, New York, native. As the news of the wrecked region and friends’ struggles flowed in, he decided to do what he could to steer some relief north. Through the end of the week, Camino will donate a portion of each table’s check and donate it to a disaster relief charity.
Hart is trying to multiply the effort by rallying other restaurateurs to the cause. Charlottesville eatery owners are a compassionate bunch, he’s found. “Many of them already have their own game plan,” he said. Hamilton’s on Main ran their own fundraiser last week, and others are preparing to do the same.
The news coverage of the storm might have died down, but the needs in New York and New Jersey are still great. Tens of thousands are still without power. Many are still displaced and may not have homes to return to. And as Charlottesville keeps digging into its pockets, we’ll post about it. We’ll be keeping track of the relief efforts we hear about here—whether it’s a restaurant’s gift of a cut of the week’s income or an elementary school clothing drive.
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