Taking Care of My People

During the storm I stayed with my two sons. One is 22 and he spent his time with friends outside, and the other is 36 and autistic. He stayed in the house that entire period of time, except once to get money with me at the bank. As for me, I stayed and walked 17 floors to go to the lobby and see how I could help out. Whatever people needed –food, water, whatever. I did that everyday because I just wanted to help out.

I stayed, and although we didn’t know everyone by name, we got to know each other very quickly. I’ve lived here 17 years, since the building was built, and it was easy to see the community coming together. When FedEx would come, any deliveries were made, we would store it in a room and check in with residents as they were coming in and give them their packages. When the army came with food boxes, we told them which apartments had seniors and helped with communicating the latest news. Even the Chinese seniors, who I am not able to communicate with, we worked out a way to talk. I knew, somehow, how to get what they needed.

I helped out everyday because I wanted to take care of my people and I wanted to make sure that they were okay. When the lights finally came on, I saw that I got a hematoma and had to go into the hospital. The doctor said it was from all the running around during that period. He told me to slow down. I said I can’t do that and didn’t let it stop me. I’m now the Vice President of the Tenants Association and the Tenants Association came out of Hurricane Sandy. People are so used to sleeping in the building and if there is a day when I’m not in the lobby, they would ask and be worried, because we were a source of stability for them and that made me feel good.