Story and photo by Bob Wallace
LONG BEACH, N.Y. – James Hodges is not one to look the other way when a community is in need.
The Pinetown area of Long Beach, on the south edge of Long Island, was without gas, electricity and heat for days after Superstorm Sandy. Hodges sprang into action and organized a distribution point for food, clothing and other much needed supplies at the Martin Luther King Community Center.
“Pinetown has the largest concentration of children in the city,” noted Hodges, “and hunger is not a stranger here.”
Those who could, responded to his prodding and soon the center was stocked with many of the essentials that families lost when storm-force winds and tidal surges tore through their neighborhoods.
The American Red Cross supports many grass-roots relief operations such as this, providing free hot meals, clean-up supplies, medical items and emotional support from 3 to 7 p.m. daily. The city of Long Beach has also assigned an employee to support Hodge’s efforts, and there is hope that utilities will soon be fully restored.