As a Board member of the Central Chapter of the American Red Cross, Dennis J. Kowal AIA, principal of Dennis Kowal Architects realized many of the Red Cross volunteers needed a break on Thanksgiving Day so they could join their families. He and his interior designer wife, Susan Kowal, were happy to forego their own traditions and head out at 6am to serve Turkey Dinners to allow some of the Red Cross staff to take the day off. One hundred and nine Red Cross Vehicles like the one pictured above canvassed Sandy-ravaged New Jersey to deliver meals prepared by volunteers from the Southern Baptist Convention. Susan commented “I’d rather be doing this than anything else today! These people on Long Beach Island have no heat, no natural gas, and not a single store or food establishment open today. If it wasn’t for the Red Cross, they would be alone without a meal.”
During a meal distribution at the Buccaneer Motel where displaced residents were relocated who no longer had homes, cars, or possessions, one resident was heard to say that they only thing they had in their room was a can of nuts and “we really appreciate the daily meals brought to the Island by the American Red Cross”. Down the street other residents were shoveling four feet of sand out of the first floor of their homes and appreciated the meal and water delivery. Amazingly, on the opposite corner, the homes did not have sand at all but only muck from the bay. Apparently, flooding from the Ocean side met the flooding from the bay side at this corner and left two different scenarios for homeowners to face.
Donations for Hurricane Sandy can be made to the Red Cross at www.redcross.org