On Thursday November 29, New York Rangers alumni Rod Gilbert, Adam Graves, Ron Greschner, Dave Maloney, and Gilles Villemure teamed up with the American Red Cross’ Hurricane Sandy relief efforts to lend a hand in Brooklyn and Queens. The alumni, joined by Coach Tortorella, arrived at a relief site in Coney Island and spent the morning unloading Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles. Once the inventory of donated goods was unloaded the alumni, coach, and other volunteers assembled the items to be picked up by those in need who had lined the street waiting for assistance.
“Really quite humbling (to be here and assist), it’s traumatic for those people involved,” Maloney said. “But we all realize how fortunate we are regardless of our situation.”
The Rangers and volunteers distributed items ranging from batteries, bottled water, baby formula, and blankets, to vegetables, flashlights, and hot meals of chicken and/or ham. Several NYC food trucks were also on hand to serve.
“What struck me most is the mood,” said Coach Tortorella. “The mood is so positive about everything.”
After assisting, the group shifted over to Rockaway Park and Breezy Point in Queens to lend a hand at another American Red Cross relief site. Once there, the Rangers did their best to brighten the afternoon of a few of the many volunteers who have given their time to help those who lost their home or are still without power from the storm. Many of these volunteers have also been affected directly by the storm.
“Everyone here, they are so proud of their neighborhood. This is their home.” said Gilbert. “They are out here, they’re going to be back, and they’re going to live here again."
After unpacking items from the Red Cross and helping with supplies, the group went to view the damage of the storm first hand before heading to the American Red Cross offices in midtown.
The alumni and Coach visited with the staff and many volunteers that have been assisting in the relief efforts since Sandy struck on October 30. These volunteers come from all areas of the United States and have been working tirelessly to assist New Yorkers in need.
“Being able to see our fellow New Yorkers and all the great people dedicating their lives to helping,” Graves said. “They’re truly the true heroes.”
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