Manhattan Holistic Chamber of Commerce President Michele Risa

Hurricane Sandy’s Destruction Up Close

Hurricane Sandy, 2012

Hurricane Sandy, 2012

I arrived at the Rockaways as a member of the Clinton Global Initiative headed up by President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.  Our assignment was

to go door to door and assess people’s needs and hear their stories.  I was deeply moved by their courage and initiative and watched as neighbor helped neighbor dispose of years of memories.

As you will see in the pictures (link below), some houses were totally destroyed while others had one whole facade ripped away.  As I zoomed in with my camera lens, the interior welcomed you to sit down and visit but as I zoomed out, the torn walls, wires and two-by-fours revealed the destructive force left behind by the wind and water.

Even though I lost electricity, and had no heat or hot water, I knew I was one of the lucky ones.

Going without such essentials served as a powerful reminder of just how much I take them for granted. For example, when opening my front door, I was shocked to step into a pitch black hallway, forgetting how our 24/7 lights create the illusion of daylight. Navigating down a totally blackened Park Avenue without street lights, traffic lights or building lights felt more unsafe than I would have imagined.  Going to sleep each night in the cold made any trip to the freezing toilet seat a jolt to my senses.

I also saw how less productive I was because every day I was in survival mode. All day I spent trying to find a warm place to warm my bones.  By being disconnected from the news, I didn’t know what resources were available, like free warm showers by New York Sports Club.

How lucky I am to live in this country of such abundance.  How lucky I am to live in a time of challenge which offers the opportunity to overcome each challenge with new insights and the resolve to do something about it.

May we renew our appreciation of all that has been given to us.  And may we reach out and uplift each other, knowing we are truly in this together.

Wishing you a Special, Peaceful, Loving Holiday,
Michele Risa

P.S. In our next blog, you will find easy ways to make a HUGE difference and have every dollar go a long, long way.  For example, just $1 buys 2 books shipped to a classroom in Africa.  So look for our email next week.

P.P.S. Want to reach out and help someone today?  Bring them to our FREE Thursday yoga class and raise energy and hearts. Since space is limited, just Email Me to reserve your spot.

P.P.S.S. To view all the photos, see our Facebook Album and “LIKE” us on Facebook to get tips straight to your News

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