On Tuesday, November 13, a truck full of donations ranging from clothes to food and even cleaning products pulled up in front of Maspeth High School to be distributed to the students. As the students got off charter buses that bring them from Beach Channel Drive to Masepth, they began helping unload the truck.
Students formed a line and moved all of the items from the back of the truck into the lobby of the school. The parent of a student who attends Rockaway Park High School said that the scene gave her chills.
Sharon Kalnberg has been living in the Rockaways for 18 years and said the generosity of volunteers has been beyond outstanding.
“This is making me cry,” she said. “Despite all the adversity, they are still working to help each other out.”
Klanberg does not have running water in her house, but said she needed to make sure that her son gets to school, wherever that school may be. She said students need school for stability and to get their minds off of the devastation that Hurricane Sandy has caused in the Rockaways.
The donation collection was organized by Michael LoCasio. parish athletic director for St. Stanislaus. He said the donations took six hours to sort, but less time to be collected.
He also said that the items were picked up and distributed through a sponsorship with Martin Luther School, Maspeth Federal Savings, State Senator Joe Addabbo's office, the CYO program of Queens, Maspeth Press and the Queens Ledger. Action Tire donated 50 trucks to help LoCasio transport the items.
“This is more than they started with today,” LoCasio said of the students.
LoCasio said that Foot Locker has donated 2,500 pairs of shoes, which he will distribute to the students in the upcoming days.
Matthew Katz, assistant principal of Rockaway High School, said that students are still getting aquatinted with their new environment. “It's been a little tough,” he said.
With many students going back to homes without electricity or heat, Katz said the donations give them “a glimmer of hope.”