Story: Local Volunteers Help The Red Cross Reach Those In Need

Hurricane Sandy 2012
Photo: Michele Maki/American Red Cross

Local Volunteers Help The Red Cross Reach Those In Need

“I feel it’s my duty as a citizen to help.” “I grew up in a family who volunteered.” These two statements sum up the attitude of two local residents who have been trained by the American Red Cross to help assess needs of the residents in Breezy Point, New York on Saturday.

“I grew up in Brazil and immigrated to the United States in 1990,” explained Marco Alfaro from Astoria. “Now that I’m a citizen, I couldn’t just stand by and do nothing. I felt it was my duty.”

Accompanying him was Mercy “Rose” Barias, who lives in New York but who was born, raised and started her profession as a physician in the Philippines. “My father gave land to start a free school in Manila.” Rosa remembers. “So I grew up volunteering and helping others. I started helping with this relief effort on Coney Island, then volunteered to help the Red Cross with this relief effort here, in Breezy Point.”

Both Marco and Rose walked for hours, knocking on door after door in neighborhood, asking what folks needed and passing out ready to eat meals, blankets and emotional support.

These two big hearted locals are just a small sampling of more than 150 community volunteers in the New York area who are coming together to help the Red Cross reach out into the communities, such as Breezy Point, that where devastated by Superstorm Sandy.

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