I am very happy to count Wendy Perrin as one of my favourite Facebook friends. I cannot claim that we are personal friends, rather friends within the eTourism and tourism marketing and blogging community. Wendy, Condé Nast Traveler's Director of Consumer News and Digital Community, is well known among tourism industry insiders and among the travelling public at large because she's the author of the Perrin Post. Basically, Wendy is a digital travel star and one of the most knowledgeable professionals in travel. Period.
So I kept following the story on Facebook and other media. In Ontario there were 2 deaths related to the Hurricane, which is very unfortunate, but really cannot compare to the number of deaths (at least 38 in the tri-state area) and the damage in some parts of New Jersey and New York, particularly the Roackaway neighbourhood in Queens. Imagine waking up (if you were able to find a place to sleep that night) to rubble where your home used to be. At a time when the weather is turning cold and power is out.
Wendy posted this on her Facebook page:
"My college classmate Roy Niederhoffer has been organizing groups of his NYC-based friends to drive urgently needed supplies--food, warm outerwear, flashlights, batteries, etc.--to Rockaway in Queens, where tens of thousands of Sandy victims
are homeless and literally in danger of freezing to death in the new storm coming tomorrow. (Please see my previous FB updates for more background on this.) Because so many of us cannot physically deliver supplies ourselves, Roy has now set up a 501c3 campaign so that people have an easy way to donate. He is personally overseeing the campaign and ensuring that every dollar goes to help these victims, whom FEMA is not adequately helping."
The situation has compelled me to write this blog post. 2 weeks after the storm, things are not back to normal by any means. And people need help. I know that our neighbours would come to our aid (as they did during the 1998 Ontario/Quebec ice-storm). Many Rockaway residents are first-responders and are used to helping people in disaster situations. Now they need our help. Let's show that Canadain tourism gives back. You can see what Mr Niederhoffer and his volunteers are doing by visiting their Facebook Page, Niederhoffer Foundation/MJE Sandy Relief.
Please donate here. I am making a donation right after I publish this post, which I will also publish on the Canadian Tourism Professionals LinkedIn Group.