I spent yesterday boxing clothes, hauling crates of water and yes, eating baked goods and delicious Indian food in Jackson Heights. There were probably dozens, if not hundreds of relief efforts across New York over the weekend, and it’s interesting to imagine how each of them channeled the spirit of their respective communities.
In Jackson Heights, you could watch young white professionals and Latino men volunteering alongside Pakistani mothers. The food sales included those Bieber cupcakes and red velvet cake as well as pulao, pakoras and some rather excellent Indian chicken sandwiches made by a local chef.
The day’s effort netted several thousand dollars, as well as several van-loads (and SUV and car-loads) of donations to places in Far Rockaway and nearby.
If there was one frustration, it was getting WAY too many clothes, then being told over the phone that many dropoff centers weren’t taking any clothes.
What I’m told they definitely do need are things like generators, and lights, and tents. And of course, sustained attention.
WNYC reporter Arun Venugopal spotted these cupcakes for sale in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens yesterday, where he’d gone to assist in hurricane relief efforts.