The following post is the e-mail that my girlfriend sent out last night thanking those who helped us and our friends help so many people around New York City for a second day in a row yesterday:
Dearest Friends, Friends of Friends, Parents of Friends, Friends of Parents (and, therefore, me!), Rabbis of Wonderful Fundraising-Religious-School-Students, Utter and Complete Stranger[angels], and Makers-of-Dreams-Come-True,
The sun has set on Day 2 of #blankets4brooklyn - the most rogue fundraising operation to hit Brooklyn since … ever?
Yesterday I wrote an email to the day 1 contributors that started by talking about how, while I was COMPLETELY exhausted (and without a charged cellphone battery from all the charting of donations and disseminating of funds), I was filled to the brim with love and wonder at the goodness of my loved ones and the generosity and trust of complete stranger[angels]. As today comes to a close, I have to tell you that, though I know I’m still pretty exhausted from all the yawning I seem to be doing, I FEEL completely energized by the love and wonder that has grown to epic proportions.
We started off the day just over $4000, and we are ending it just over $7000. You have helped us almost double the funds we are collecting to get much-needed supplies all over damaged parts of Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island. At this point, the only borough we’re missing is the Bronx!
"So," you may be asking, "what did my dollars buy today?"
• $1600 for the materials needed to convert 4 bicycles into bicycle-powered charging stations - 2 will go to Staten Island and 2 will go to the Far Rockaways tomorrow/Tuesday
• $300 for 1 car-load of baby food, peanut butter, dry milk, and SO much more that went directly to the Fire Station in Far Rockaway Queens to be distributed by strangerangel, Linda Rosenblatt
• $600 for cooking supplies to continue getting hot food to distribution centers in the Rockaways, Coney Island, and Staten Island TODAY and the rest of this week AND for hand warmers, D batteries, and 180 bars of soap that were delivered directly to residents in Coney Island today by yours truly
• $367 for 50 winter hats, 25 pairs of men’s winter gloves, 15 mega packs of baby wipes, 27 tubes of toothpaste, 63 toothbrushes, 10 boxes of tampons, 7 Queen-sized blankets that all went straight to Coney Island (I went with this carload and put many of these things directly into the hands of residents)
• $100 that went to two stranger angels, who we met while buying our supplies at the dollar store, to purchase tons of children’s games, toothpaste, and personal hygiene products for those in evacuation shelters in Brooklyn - we bought this load and they promised that they’ll go and buy another load … we doubled the mitzvah!
Attached are photos of that - the quinoa bought yesterday cooked into quinoa salad that was delivered today, the trunk of the car-load that went to Coney Island (the one with the blankets), PART of the trunk of supplies that went to the Far Rockaways with baby food and peanut butter …
We’ve got 3 (maybe 4) more car-loads of goods in the pipeline for this week (tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday/Friday). I’ll personally be back out on the road next Sunday … and who knows where this will take us! I just got word from my accountant that I don’t have to worry about the IRS coming to get me, which means we’ll just keep doing this for as long as we can sustain getting supplies immediately to folks who need them or until there’s not a need - may the second scenario come sooner than the first.
I want to share with you a piece from my first contributor update that I sent out last night because it so TOTALLY still applies:
"And, while it wasn’t my intention at ALL, your dollars have done something else for which I will NEVER be able to fully thank you: they have begun putting the pieces of my very broken heart back together. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans 7 years ago, I knew my life would never be the same. And it isn’t. And there are so many people who now share an anguish I hoped no one else would ever know. The pain is so great. And, yet, the potential for love and healing is enormous.
If I’ve learned anything today, I’ve learned that no dream is insignificant, no idea is silly, and, when we work together, we can truly change this world.
There’s a saying that goes, “Each one, teach one.” That is how we raised this money. I don’t know half of you. And I probably will never meet you (though, if I do, there’s a Brooklyn-sized hug coming your way). I was just one person. Who reached out to another person. Who reached out to another person. Who reached out to another person. TOGETHER we did this. Some of you are clearly crazy - you sent money to a perfect stranger but that makes me know you are TRULY “my people.”
So, from the bottom of my ever-expanding heart, THANK YOU.
We’re in this together,