Dear NY1 News Editor,
As many Staten Islanders are making plans for Thanksgiving or starting to decorate their homes for Christmas, there are several hundreds residents who don’t have that luxury.
They had so much extensive damage from Super Storm Sandy that two years later they are in temporary housing and still struggling and hoping to eventually enjoy the holidays in the comfort of their own homes one day soon.
In the meantime, however, there are several Staten Islanders who are doing more than their part to make these residents feel at home — even if they are dislocated, relocated, and disadvantaged during the imminent holiday season.
Members of Staten Island’s Long Term Recovery Organization (LTRO) are worthy of being featured in your “Staten Islander of the Week” spotlight for their ongoing dedication and assistance in providing resources, donations, guidance, and counseling to the affected Staten Island residents – some of whom lost everything on Oct. 29, 2012.
The group’s tireless volunteers — led by Alana Tornello, director — should be commended for their efforts more than two years later. When the initial surge of volunteers have disappeared and gone by the wayside, these volunteers are still going strong with the same dedication and enthusiasm for helping their fellow Staten Islanders that they employed on that fateful night.
Some of the LTRO volunteers include: Karen Jackson of Project Hospitality; Derek Tabacco from Guyon Rescue; Rev. Terry Troia, director of Project Hospitality; Tom McDonough of the Steven Siller Foundation; Robert Dennis, St. Margaret Mary’s Church; Elizabeth Dulski, volunteer at the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program; Lyn Governale, Midland Beach resident who lost her home/turned Project Hospitality staffer; Michael Blyth, retired teacher and head of the Petrides Chaper of Habitat for Humanity; Jesse Gordon, Dongan Hills resident and retired iron-worker and former project manager for the School Construction Authority.
These are just a handful of the volunteers that deserve recognition and have made it their goal to help the less fortunate — especially at this crucial time of the year when residents are gathering at holiday parties, going on shopping sprees, and attending festive functions.
These LTRO volunteers are a special breed of Staten Islanders — who are worthy of being included in your weekly feature as a means of bringing awareness to the ongoing recovery effort and spreading the word that there are neighbors, friends, and loved ones who need help to get back on their feet after one of the most devastating storms in a century!
They serve as a glowing example of how Staten Islanders need to mobilize and recommit themselves to doing their part in the recovery effort until all Staten Islanders are home again.
If you would like to feature any of these volunteers or the LTRO as your “Staten Islanders of the Week,” please reach out to me via email or phone at the contact information below and I would be happy to arrange an interview and photo opportunities.
The group has many outreach programs and events coming up in the next few weeks — such as a coat drive for the displaced victims — that would make good follow up human interest stories and photo opportunities.
Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to speaking with you further on this pitch at your convenience.
media relations/public relations
Long-Term Recovery Organization