Hurricane relief in unexpected places

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Jon Green, who lives in Maryland and is a friend of Sydney’s mother, Stephanie, saw the notice and spread the word to his Facebook friends. Green’s mother, a former East Meadow resident who now lives in a retirement community in Tennessee called Del Webb Lake Providence, spread the word around her community.

A few days later, 73 packages were shipped from Tennessee to the Inger household, containing food, drinks, medicine, toiletries, baby food, pet food, clothing, diapers, flashlights, batteries, paper towels, disinfectants and more. “Within one night, there was two houses filled with stuff,” said Sydney. “It just kept adding up, and it got to 2,000 pounds, and we couldn’t believe how one community of 30 homes was so impacting on a food drive.”

A little more than a week after the packages arrived, donations were still coming in. After sorting out all of the items, the families took them to Island Harvest by car — helped by a bus from Merrick Woods Country Day School, where Stephanie Inger is a teacher. “I don’t think proud would be the right adjective,” she said. “In this day and age, a lot of children don’t know the importance of a hot meal on a table, or a warm jacket. I think it’s a great lesson to be learned.”

“It’s not many 11- and 12-year-old girls who go out of their way to do this,” added Sal Buscemi, Gia’s father. “These girls really did a lot of work for this.”

All these three kids wanted to do was help their friends who were not as fortunate as they were. “You shouldn’t complain that you only have three snacks in your cabinet when there’s people who don’t have anything to eat for days,” said Gia. “Never take anything for granted. Now that I see all this, I think of some things differently now.”

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