A good friend of mine, an editor at The Wall Street Journal, spent last week living in a tent in his basement. After the lights went out at his home on Staten Island, he and his wife and two young children started camping out in their cellar because it turned out to be the warmest spot in their house.
They went there after Hurricane Sandy picked up a big tree on their street and threw it across power lines, ensuring the homes on the block would be dark for days on end. The tree missed my friend’s car by just a dozen feet, or he would have lost his wheels along with his lights.
“We were lucky,” he wrote in his blog.
How many times did you hear those words spoken over the last week or so as TV reporters interviewed people along the Jersey Shore whose lives had been turned upside down by the storm’s high winds and walls of water?
“We were lucky,” they said, despite having a boat land on their front porch.
“We were lucky,” they said as they gazed through the hole in their roof to the sky above.
To me, those words capture something great about Americans — the resilience that seems to come along with the birth certificate.
We all get knocked down at one time or another, but then get up, brush ourselves off and begin our recovery by first counting our blessings.
You are among the lucky ones if you have managed to land or keep a job, had medical insurance when you needed it, or stayed afloat during the economic storm of the last four years.
If you consider yourself among the fortunate, I hope you will make a donation to the Northeast Times’ Eleanor Smylie Community Fund. For 57 years, the fund has been matching readers who need help at Christmas time with those who have a little extra to spare. Every year, the fund makes sure our neighbors who are hurting will have a good holiday meal and each child will have at least one present under the tree.
We will accept any amount of donation, and will publish your name on a list of donors in the newspaper. Some people prefer to give anonymously, and we will honor that request.
In 2011, the community fund was able to help 117 families and three social service agencies. We hope to do even better this year.
If you have given money to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy and are tapped out, please accept our tip of the hat for thinking of others in need.
But if you still have something left to give, and would like to help someone down the block have a brighter Christmas, please send a donation to:
Eleanor Smylie Community Fund
2512 Metropolitan Drive
Trevose, PA. 19053
We’ll do our part and make sure your donation buys gift cards for people who are a bit down on their luck as the holidays approach. ••
• James Albert: $20
• D. Collins: $50
• Judith Kary: $5
• Ernest F. Landsmann Sr.: $50
• Frances Petrella: $10
• In memory of Margaret Evans-Tarpinian: $25
• In memory of Walter and Jane Montgomery and Morris and Reba Pearlstien: $100
• Anonymous: $10
Reach Lillian Swanson at 215-354-3030 or firstname.lastname@example.org