I am writing this post after a week that has been unbelievable. I am sure that many of are unaware that Kelly and I live in Middletown, NJ. A shore town for sure. A few days ago Hurricane Sandy left us without heat or power but left us safe. As the storm passed, and information began to poor in, we heard that some of our colleagues were in worse shape. Two of my fifth grade colleagues had their house flooded and one was likely to lose her home of the past 20+ years. A second grade colleague and her newborn baby were now homeless.
Being who we are we sprang into action. Over the past few days I have been reminded of why I LOVE my school, my community, and my colleagues. As I spent one morning removing soaked memories from a basement with my co-teacher, spent one afternoon packing a kitchen with a first grade teacher across the hall, and emptied paper boxes at my powerless school with my principal I know these are people you can count on for more than a much needed bathroom break. I am reminded that we are more than a school, but a community. We take care of each other and pitch in whenever and wherever. Teachers in work boots, with shovels, and with a mission. Spending days off because of an emergency working hard to help those in need.
When I left my home in an area that only suffered power loss and headed to my colleagues house I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Homes have been destroyed. House condemned. Families left homeless. The devastation is something out of a disaster movie.
Over the past week I have witnessed:
-storm winds like no other
-hours of darkness
-the National Guard coming to my home town
But I have witnessed so much more:
-a community helping its neighbors
-food donations from people who have little to begin with
-people from out of state traveling in to help
-utility workers leaving their homes to help others
-friends working together
-families supporting each other
School is closed until the 13th due to the devastation. Tomorrow I will be at another super teacher's house trying to help them clean up and rebuild. Tuesday our teachers will be at the closed school without power opening it as a collection site for those in need.
Small tasks, but it is something.