Story: “The least I could do is help out.”

By Wesley Lind

Superstorm Sandy packed a double punch for Mt. Vernon, NY resident Nicole Kirkland. First, it devastated her original home of Jamaica and then came to her neighborhood, blowing out a transformer nearby her home. It left her without heat for a week and power for two weeks. However, that wasn’t the reason she decided to help the Red Cross aid Sandy victims.

“I feel so bad not to have suffered more when there are kids and families out there who lost everything,” Nicole says. “It’s not fair that some lost everything while all I had to do was wait for the lights to come back on. The least I could do is help out.”

On Sunday, she drove to the Jersey City warehouse and spent the afternoon working in an assembly line to build supply kits for Sandy victims. Then she volunteered for a special late night assignment to drive five hours round trips to drive a pair of volunteers home after they spent the whole day driving supplies to hard-hit neighborhoods in New York City. To finish their routes, they missed their ride home, so Nicole offered to bring them back.

“They asked me to help and I said no problem! I’ll be coming back to the warehouse to work all night if I have to,” Kirkland says. “I was so mad I couldn’t help tomorrow because I have to work, but I’ve asked them how I can help on Thanksgiving!”

This was her first experience with the Red Cross and it’s already left a huge impression. “To see all this effort, it’s really touched me,” says Kirkland. “The Red Cross has boots on the ground and is bringing items to people who really need them because they’re going to be rebuilding for a long time. I’ve already filled out my paperwork to become an official Red Cross volunteer and will be helping in the future.”

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