“I hope to come back and stay with my father so I can volunteer again.” Samantha Clarke, ASB Day 3
Formally known as the “playground of the rich,” The Rockaways holds a strong identity. An Identity that only people who live, have family in, or have experienced time in The Rockaways would understand. Being that I have had family on 128th my whole life, I can understand the identity of that surrounding area. I usually spent time there in the summers and families would always be out playing games, on the beach, or barbequing. The families around my uncle, the family member who owned a house there, were generally white, Italian, or Irish. The houses always seemed “cute” or “very nice” to my family and me.
What I learned today was that Dan and The Wave, which is basically the main local newspaper for The Rockaways, supply information to, advocate for, and act as a voice for their community. This community includes all of the families, local businesses, and organizations that are involved with The Rockaways. The Wave was affected by Sandy just as most of Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn. What I asked Dan today was what help they received and how people or organizations got involved to aid them. He explained that it was mostly random people that took trips from all over the US to come help clean up and repair. The community became stronger than ever and everyone was up to help everyone.
Realizing that not much help was given from FEMA or Red Cross, as expected by Dan and The Wave, was understandable. I was not very shocked after what we learned yesterday form the Friends of Rockaway. I wish that local businesses were given more attention because they are what keep communities running and together.
Working on the homes and buildings we have been working on is so rewarding. I know that once this is ASB is over most of us will feel good about ourselves and move on but I love rebuilding and doing construction so much that I hope to come back and stay with my father so I can volunteer again. The Friends of Rockaway are such cool people and they have welcomed us all with open arms and have been so fun and easy to work with. This was a great decision.