ARMONK, N.Y. – For most Armonk residents, the effects of Superstorm Sandy back in October have subsided. For the residents of Staten Island, it is a different story.
It is a story Armonk residents Wendy Rosen and Nicole Kovensky have become extremely close to.
“It’s disheartening that so many people there are still displaced,” said Rosen.
Rosen, who had never been to Staten Island before the storm, initially made the trek to help a friend from work's family. Kovensky, a friend of Rosen, decided to lend a hand. Since their first trip to Staten Island on the Tuesday immediately after the storm, they have returned for several visits, with no plans of slowing down.
“After being there and seeing the devastation first-hand the first time, we felt more motivated than ever to continue to go back and help,” said Kovensky.
With contributions from local businesses such as Schriefer’s Delicatessen, Beacakes and Armonk Country Kitchen, Rosen and Kovensky have helped raise well over $7,000. They have taken this money and wrapped $100 gift cards and $100 bills in clear bags with cookies from Beacakes that say “We Care” on them. They walk along the streets that were hit the hardest and hand out these gifts, along with sandwiches donated from Schriefer’s Delicatessen.
“I had overheard Wendy talking about it in my store,” said Rich Schriefer, owner of Schriefer’s Delicatessen, located at 459 Main St. “When she started talking about the scene in Staten Island, she started to tear up. I couldn’t help but want to get involved.”
Schriefer has twice sent a batch of 60 deli sandwiches with Wendy and Nicole on their visits. He has also set up a “Sandy Relief” jar next to his store’s cash register. He said the jar would stay out as long as his customers continue to contribute.
“It’s still going strong,” he said, estimating donations have now gone over the $2,000 mark.
During their most recent visit on Sunday, Dec. 16, Wendy and Nicole, along with their husbands and children, dropped off over 200 Christmas gifts to two shelters filled with children.
“We’ll be right back at it right after the holidays,” said Rosen. “We call the friends we’ve made in Staten Island our best friends forever!”
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