November 19, 2012

Cheers and Jeers: Nov. 16, 2012

CHEERS to all the North Country residents who have reached out to help Hurricane Sandy victims. After days of warnings that the devastating storm was headed our way, the North Country lucked out by getting only a little rain and wind.

But the response here wasn’t just a big sigh of relief and a “tough luck” to the areas that Sandy did sock. Within days of the storm, people in the North Country were leaping to respond to whatever needs they heard about. Utility workers, State Police troopers, Red Cross volunteers and firefighters headed south. People donated by mail, online and by text to hurricane relief funds. Students at local schools and colleges started holding benefit events.

We will share a story told to us by Mariane Mehan-Rabideau of Cadyville because it illustrates well the caring nature of the North Country. She has two grown children who live in New York City. Her daughter is a student, and her son is a professional who works with children.

Here’s what she told us:

“I feel blessed that my children made it through Hurricane Sandy without incident. Not everyone has been so fortunate. My heart broke with each story I heard and newscast I watched. I am sure many people in our area are feeling the same way: helpless.

“(After the storm) my daughter returned to classes and my son to work. He was thrilled to see his students yet heartbroken to find that so many had lost everything. I told him I would send down a box or do whatever I could to help. I packed up a box and planned on mailing it the following day.

“The next day, I told my coworkers of my plan. What started out as sending one box to Coney Island quickly turned into two pallets with more than 100 boxes filled with food, coats, hats, gloves, boots and more, all donated by unassuming, hardworking people — people who may or may not have ever been to New York City, people who have taught me the spirit of giving. Not only did these people give from their hearts, they also helped me pack and transport everything.

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