Delawareans Pull Together

Dear Neighbors,

Today marks the one year anniversary of when Superstorm Sandy hit our shores. The storm was one of the worst in memory and prompted evacuations in each county in Delaware and tens of millions of dollars’ worth of damage to communities along the East Coast. I remember traveling up and down the First State during and after the storm to see, first hand, how Delawareans were managing. I also saw people from all walks of life pulling together, helping one another, and taking care of their neighbors. Today, the impacts of Superstorm Sandy are still fresh in our minds and we continue to rebuild.

A while back, I was speaking with a good friend of mine, and I asked how he was doing. His response was, “Compared to what?” This is a good way to look at how Sandy has affected us in Delaware. Compared to our hard-hit neighbors to the north, we’re doing alright. But Sandy didn’t spare Delaware, and I believe that it is important to honor some of the Delawareans who were called to action by the Red Cross to volunteer in the shelters and communities in Delaware, New Jersey and New York. That’s why today, I took to the Senate floor to say just a few words on their behalf. They stopped their lives to help others, and for that, we are truly grateful.

Sen. Carper met volunteers from the American Red Cross Delmarva Region today and thanked them for their service during Superstorm Sandy. (From left) Joe Miller of Hockessin, Richard and Charlotte Duffy of Rehoboth Beach, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, and Glenn Sholley of Lincoln.

Volunteers like Joe Miller of Hockessin, who was deployed to Brighton Beach, New York, and helped hand out 2,500 ready-to-eat meals to the community over two days, and checked in on folks who were house-bound to make sure they were safe and to provide them with food, blankets, flashlights and other essentials.

I also met the husband-wife team of Rich and Charlotte Duffy of Rehoboth Beach, who volunteered as shelter managers at Milford Middle School. While fulfilling their duties, they recognized a woman with medical concerns who was traveling with her caregiver and pet. Amazingly, the woman recognized Rich and Charlotte from when she stayed in the shelter a year before during Hurricane Irene. She was relieved to see volunteers who she knew and trusted, and the fact that the Red Cross provided a shelter for pets with the SPCA made a tough experience just a little bit better.

Although memorable, Joe, Rich and Charlotte’s stories are not unique.Thousands of Red Cross volunteers came to the aid of their communities in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. I like to think of them as the best kind of neighbors; the type who are always there for you when you need them. As our rebuilding efforts continue, I’m so thankful for the first responders, volunteers and good Samaritans who pulled together not only in Delaware, but in our states to the north to ensure the safety and health of our neighbors.


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