Coming to grips with what was lost
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“The LTA began helping both the community and each other almost immediately after the storm hit,” Skonberg said. “Links were placed on our website — www.lawrenceta.org — so that people could donate to either or both of two separate funds. One fund, the LTA Kindness Fund, was earmarked specifically for LTA Members in need. The other fund, the LPS Community Disaster Fund, has been used to help those adversely affected in the community. In total, the funds have raised nearly $10,000.”
That money, Skonberg said, has been distributed to LTA members in need and spent on items needed by community members. The LTA also set up drop off centers in teachers’ homes throughout Long Island. Those teachers then brought the dropped off items to Lawrence Middle School or the Five Towns Community Center.
Getting back in her house
While many in Dunn’s situation appreciate the assistance provided by the LTA and many other organizations, what she really wants is to be back in her house. Dunn doesn’t see that happening for at least two months if there are no snags. Her husband will do most of the work. She said she will cook on a camping stove once the walls are up again. “My house was perfect,” Dunn said. “My husband built everything. I lived with a Skil saw in my kitchen, I can do it again.”
Besides having to repair her home, Dunn’s mother, a resident of Baldwin Harbor, moved to Maine and now lives with Dunn’s sister. “I will miss mom. Three days a week we met for dinner,” Dunn said.
However, it’s not only rebuilding a house that is a monumental task, but also going through the process of submitting paperwork for federal funds and insurance money. “FEMA, insurance, filling out the forms about the things we have lost is an incredible, arduous task. Serial numbers, age. We are finished now, sending them off, hoping for the best.”
Frazzled, but still the science teacher, Dunn said: “I always knew it would happen,” in regards to a hurricane of this magnitude, “it was not if, but when.”