I spent most of today volunteering for Coney Recovers. The night before I prepared a bag of school supplies to be donated and a separate backpack for me to carry throughout the event, with snacks and drink. I made sure I knew where my steel-toed boots were, only to end up realizing that I wasn't wearing them midway to Coney Island.
In the morning, for the walk to Coney Island, I set the Charity Miles app on my Android phone to log the distance for Wounded Warriors. I could have taken the subway, now that the trains run to the usual terminal in Coney, but I wanted to both save a little money and earn some extra money for WW, plus get a chance to win a T-shirrt. Get more details on this latest Challenge at https://www.facebook.com/CharityMiles . You most likely already missed the chance to walk for Saturday (unless you live on the West Coast) but you still can earn the extra 25¢, per mile, for Wounded Warriors.
I arrived at Tom's Restaurant with my own shovel and was assigned to work with a team going to Carey Garden building. On the way out, I bumped into Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr., almost addressed him as Senator but realized in time by the time I shook his hands. It was from his Facebook page that I found my way to the volunteer opportunity.
We started out working on cleaning the playground area of Carey Garden building. I should have taken more photos of the setting before we worked, but at least I got the one below. I think the water lifted the thick and heavy rubber tiles then the wave or wind just swept some sections under others. We first swept away the debris, mostly leaves and twigs, then took many tiles apart in order to remove the pieces tucked underneath. Did I say the pieces were heavy? I know the wind and water moved many things, like gigantic trees and vehicles, but it was still amazing to think how these tiles were moved. Eventually we got the pieces as even as humanly possible, using just team-work and hand-tools. Silly me I thought I could just walk up the block to buy a sandwich for lunch. No stores were opened. There were two supermarkets across the playground but one was shuttered while the other, while with the gate up, was all dark inside and with a ladder leaning against the door. I ended up accepting an apple from a fellow volunteer and subsisted on a rice crispy and a 100-calory bag of cookies. After lunch we picked up litter in the parking lot and in the shrubs. Lastly, we pulled the heavy bags of garbage and such to the sidewalk for an NYCHA truck to pick up, or to the Dumpster. To my surprise, when I signed out I was given a Luna Park ticket equivalent to a 4-hour wrist-band. Curiously, even though I registered online Saturday evening, the registration desk could not find my name in their database. Maybe the records were not synced yet.
It was good to be able to help a small part of Coney Island get back to normal. I look forward to spending a few more days next week with Coney Recovers. To volunteer, check http://coneyrecovers.org/volunteer