STORY: A Team(sters) Effort

Written by Jay Bonafede

Sandy Relief

Whenever the American Red Cross gears up to get food and water, comfort and clean up kits into the hands of disaster victims, someone has to get those goods from staging areas to distribution sites. This kind of behind-the-scenes effort can’t wait until it’s convenient.

Teamsters union member Rich Caldwell of Milford, Pa., got the go-ahead to help the Red Cross recently from his boss: his wife.

“Some of our guys get only one day off, and their wives already had jobs lined up for them,” Caldwell said. “My wife said ‘Go on, get out of here’!”

Caldwell, who commutes into New York regularly for his job with Coca-Cola, devoted a Sunday to work with Red Crossers Stephen Fails and David Griffith to deliver two truckloads of supplies from Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field to a distribution site on Coney Island. Hundreds of residents lined up to get the much-needed supplies.

“We lost power (as a result of Superstorm Sandy), but we have a generator and we could throw wood on the fire,” Caldwell said. “These people can’t do that.”

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