Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Harry Helps

Hurricane Sandy didn't wreak havoc in Philadelphia.  Philadelphia is like Harry Potter in that the abundance of brotherly love protects us from evil...but also refrains from protecting us against gun violence.  It wasn't until after Sandy passed through that I realized how seriously it impacted the rest of the Northeast.  My New Yorker bestie had a flooded office and had to walk 5 miles to work since the subways were flooded and our favorite spots in Sea Isle and Avalon were severely damaged.  And then I saw the coverage of Staten Island, Long Island, and Northern Jersey beaches.  Facebook posts of orange stickers on homes deeming them condemned riddled my newsfeed.  And then the NYC Marathon was cancelled. 

Not that a marathon is the most important event during this disaster, but it woke me up to how serious the storm was.  Several of my friends had trained their butts off for 5-6 months for this race, the race of their lives, THE New York Marathon.  I knew how disappointed they felt, especially since bad weather had affected a friend's past marathon.  But it takes a special kind of person to turn that disappointment and frustration into something good.  The Monday after the marathon was cancelled I received an email inviting me to participate in and donate to the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Run hosted by a friend of mine who had qualified for the 2012 NYC Marathon.  She wanted to turn around the negative reactions to runners upset about missing their marathon into positive reactions to those same runners supporting the Hurricane Sandy victims. 

Within a week, she put together a small run and donation drive in front of the Please Touch Museum.  Her altruism attracted a Gatorade representative (via a mere tweet!) that brought race bags and of course, Gatorade, for all that ran and/or donated.  The boo and I brought our donations and our dog to participate.  Small but mighty, the event charged us with the endorphins from our 2.5 mile run and those feel good fuzzies that come from doing something good.  Most importantly, for me, it was a real life example of how anybody can make a difference.  Afterwards, the donations were delivered to the Plainsboro NJ Fire company, who then distributed them to the community of Bayshore.

Below are some beautiful photos from the event, taken by Ankur Khanna.  Check out more of his pics on his blog here.

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