During Thanksgiving weekend, a group of immigrant workers and members of New Immigrant Community Empowerment, based in Jackson Heights, traveled to Staten Island’s El Centro del Inmigrante to join the Day Laborer Hurricane Relief Brigade.
Many put their skills in construction, demolition and cleanup to good use. They worked on a total of three homes, breaking down living room floor tiles, demolishing basements and bathrooms and clearing out debris from the demolition.
As the group headed back to its van at the end of the day, a couple of members stopped to help a family push their ruined car out of the driveway.
In addition to construction work, NICE members packed bags of cleaning supplies and essential goods to distribute to hurricane victims.
“Today is a special day where we come together as brothers with the workers from Staten Island,” said Walter Vintimilla, an Ecuadorian immigrant construction worker. “The communities in Staten Island need our help and we must be united after a disaster such as Sandy.”