It may be a bit early for Christmas or Chanukah, but don’t tell Melissa Rose, her husband Ron, or her friends and neighbors in Chesapeake, Virginia.
With her sister. brother-in-law, and nephew (my family) trapped in our Clinton Street apartment with no power, Melissa mobilized her community, including her synagogue, her kids’ elementary and middle schools, and local boy scouts, to fill up a 16-foot truck with a myriad of supplies – food, clothing, cold medicine, blankets, diapers, baby food, water, toiletries, and even turtle necks and hand warmers for the police.
On Saturday afternoon Melissa and Ron hit the road, making a rest stop in Dover, Delaware. They arrived in Hoboken on Sunday morning and we all went to Hoboken High School, where hundreds of volunteers were tirelessly collecting and sorting items. While it took a day and a half to load the truck, it took about two hours to unload everything and take it all into the high school.
It’s hard to put into words the scene at Hoboken High School, or the real appreciation apparent in the eyes of volunteers as the Chesapeake truckload of supplies pulled up. There have obviously been many other acts of generosity by residents of Hoboken and beyond. This is just one of them. We tend to see nothing but bad acts on the local and national news, but there are many more good people out there. And a bunch of them live in Chesapeake, Virginia. They have our sincere gratitude.
My family was luckier than many, and had our power restored on Thursday night. Many other Hobokenites remain in severe need of support. As is always the case, once the headlines subside, the news cameras will go away. But the need for assistance will continue.