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Sandy's Devastation Firsthand

Posted on 06/25/2013 @ 10:00 PM

Tags: pep

After dinner, representatives from Met Council, one of New York's largest human services agencies, joined the teens. The most moving moments of this part of the Summit came from Patricia Dresch, a Hurricane Sandy survivor.

After being robbed during their evacuation for Hurricane Irene, the Dresch family decided not to evacuate for Hurricane Sandy. As a result, Patricia Dresch lost husband George and 13 year old daughter Angela. This year, Angela would have graduated middle school. Tonight was her middle school’s prom, just across the street from the BBYO Stand UP and Rebuild Summit.

Patricia relayed the devastating details of her family’s experience with Hurricane Sandy. In its aftermath, she said, “I had nothing.” She said that when people come here to do little things like pick up garbage and sort clothing, people don’t realize the impact it makes. “Tomorrow, people may come up and hug you for doing what you’re doing and you may not understand why, but every little thing makes a difference to them.”

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In response, teens shared – some tearfully - their new outlooks on the work to be done tomorrow:

“I came in here wanting to help and I expected to just do small things, but what you’ve told us about small things makes this so much deeper and I’m excited to be a part of it.” Matthew Ludwig, Randolph, NJ

“I’ve never really seen any major natural disaster happen. You don’t just lose your physical self, you lose your emotional self. This has really opened my eyes.” – Dylan Nowogrodski, Thornhill, ON

“Hearing what [Patricia] said – how such a small thing can make an impact on someone – makes me so excited to meet people tomorrow and help change their lives.” – Abby Seidel, Atlanta, GA

“I came here knowing what I would be doing. After hearing how much of an effect little things have, I now know why I’m doing what I’m doing.” – Alex Schwartz, Wilmington, DE

“Hearing from you has changed the meaning of Hurricane Sandy. I know tomorrow we are all going to put 200% more effort into our work because of you. Please don’t stop sharing your story.” – Roni Rose, Charlotte, NC

Emily Peter from Cooper City, FL stood up and asked, “Can I give you a hug?”

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Tomorrow, the teens go into the community to do their part with the “little things” and make a big impact.

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