Finding Community in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

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Finding Community in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

by Evan Britt
YWCA of the City of New York

Evan Britt


A word commonly defined as a group of people living together in one place, especially one practicing common ownership. The word community often carries deeper meaning, though. For me, a community is a group of people helping each other.

It is this sense of the word community that I have experienced in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Over the past two weeks, the YWCA of the City of New York, much like the rest of New York City, has dealt with a number of challenges as a result of the storm. With our staff displaced from our headquarters in the Financial District, many of us displaced from our homes, no YW email or phone access, and a general sense of chaos, the simple solution was to sit back and wait.

But that’s not how the YW responded. Despite these trying times, we rallied together. Communicating through social media, Gmail, and our personal cell phones, our staff came together to form a plan to provide relief to the families in Coney Island who were heavily impacted by Sandy. It was in this moment that we came together, not as co-workers, but as a community.

The immediacy, selflessness and generosity of our staff, board and supporters has been inspiring and has helped to ensure that families in Coney Island have food, water, warm clothing, hygiene items, school supplies, and other necessities.

Here are some photos from our work in Coney Island after the storm:

View more photos and live updates from relief efforts on YWCA NYC’s Twitter feed.

As life returns to “normal” for most of us, there is still a long road to recovery ahead. A number of our programs in Brooklyn are still dealing with the aftermath of the storm. The YW’s Roberta Bright Early Learning Center suffered severe damage, and is closed as we rebuild. Our After School programs in Coney Island are still displaced and beloved projects, like the P.S. 90 Student Garden, have been destroyed.

With the holiday season approaching, many families still need our help, which is why the YW will continue to provide support and relief to Coney Island. In this time of great need, every contribution counts – and our supporters’ kindnesses have made a world of difference.

Thank you for pulling together and proving the power of community.

To learn more about the YW’s relief efforts in Coney Island, visit

Evan Britt is the Design & Marketing Associate for the YWCA of the City of New York. Upon graduating from Middle Tennessee State University in 2010, he set off to New York City with the goal of positively impacting the world around him.

He is a self-described digital technology addict, with a passion for social media, design, and typography.  You can connect with Evan (@mybffevan) on Twitter.

2 responses to “Finding Community in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

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