'Secret Sandy' gives kids hope for the holidays
On the Web
UNDATED (WHDH) -- Two women are making a difference, in a very tough situation. Their idea: helping out thousands affected by Hurricane Sandy.
When Hurricane Sandy blew in, the Taylor family wasn't thinking about Christmas.
“He said the water's coming in and I can't stop it,” Mrs. Taylor remembers.
Two months later, they can't afford a decent Christmas tree because there are too many repairs left to do.
But Andrea Flanagan, who doesn't even know the family, delivered a little Christmas spirit.
“The kids were disappointed. ‘Where is Santa gonna bring the presents?’ So I was like this is a great family to help out,” said Flanagan.
Flanagan connected with the family through a program called Secret Sandy.
Storm victims write letters describing what they need.
Program founders Joy Huang and Kim Berdy match the letters with people who want to help.
Sixteen-hundred letters and more than three thousand volunteers were ready to give.
“People realize how much happier they can make other people just by doing something little,” said Berdy.
They connected a local law firm with Saint Camillus School in Rockaway Park, Queens.
It was so badly damaged in the storm, it just reopened this month.
The law firm donated backpacks and supplies.
Every child there was affected by the storm.
Jojo and Danny are worried about Christmas.
“It's just sandy and it's not going to feel the same,” said one boy.
Eddie's family has to live in a trailer.
“My Christmas tree is in the garden,” Eddie said, "our trailer's too small for it."
The letters all tell similar stories:
"I love Harry Potter...and all my books were flooded."
Another child wrote, "I hope I’m able to go home soon."
“You read that and you're like, 'ok like let's go let's get the other one done, who else needs help?'" said Huang.
“To see that in all of this tragedy...that there is kindness and goodness out there I think it's spectacular,” said Mrs. Taylor.
A reminder of this season's potential to make things a little better.
More than 500 kids and their parents have submitted Christmas lists, and the organization has already received gifts from more than one-thousand people.