The New York Says Thank You Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping people across the country hit by natural or man-made disasters, has committed itself to helping 200 first responders in New York City whose homes were destroyed, underinsured or both when Hurricane Sandy hit in October.
“As a group, these people tend not to ask for help when they need it,” said Jeff Parness, who founded the organization in 2003.
Each year on the anniversary of 9/11, the group sends volunteers from New York City to help communities hit by events like earthquakes, wildfires and tornadoes in recognition of the help New York received in its time of need after the terrorist attacks of 2001.
Speaking on Jan. 30 at the monthly meeting of the 104th Precinct Community Council, Parness said the aim is to identify 200 police officers, FDNY and volunteer firefighters, EMS personnel and Department of Sanitation workers who spent the hurricane and its aftermath caring for others in devastated parts of the city as their own families and properties were hit hard.
“We want to help them for all they do for us,” Parness said. The assistance could consist of a monetary donation or volunteers to do repair and construction work.
Parness founded the organization in November 2003 after his then-5-year-old son, Evan, said he wanted to give his old toys to children in California who lost their homes in wildfires.
Within four days he had more than 100 volunteers and donors who helped fill a rented truck for people in the San Diego suburb of Harbison Canyon.
First responders who would like to apply for assistance or anyone wishing to volunteer or make financial contributions can receive more information on the foundation’s website at newyorksaysthankyou.org, or on the group’s Facebook page.
Checks also can be sent to New York Says Thank You Foundation, 2576 Broadway #174, New York, NY 10025. Please write Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund on the memo line of the check.