This holiday season, give to hurricane relief


The holidays can be one of the most stressful times of year, with shopping and cooking, and more shopping and cooking. For most people it is also a joyous time of year, with precious hours spent with family and friends, often reminiscing about the year that has passed.

We can’t help but think how fortunate most of us are. Please, enjoy the holidays. This year, though, take a few minutes to reflect on the hundreds of thousands of hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico who still very much need our help, and consider giving to the American Red Cross or any of the many other organizations providing aid to those in need.

Five years ago at this time, so many Long Islanders were struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy. Some still are. We understand the psychic pain that so many are enduring down south. Lending a helping hand demonstrates that you care, and that alone can go a long way toward repairing the damage.

The Herald sent care packages full of snacks to community newspapers in Texas and Florida, knowing how hard the journalists there would be working to cover the aftermath of the hurricanes. We also took up a collection of canned goods and other food to send via Island Harvest to Puerto Rico.

We were incredibly touched by the thank-you letter we received from Valerie Harring, executive editor of Breeze Newspapers in Cape Coral, Fla. “Thank you for the wonderful cheer-up package of goodies sent in the wake of Hurricane Irma,” she wrote. “Nothing makes a stressed newsroom happier than free food.” Thinking back five years, we can vouch for that.

Harring went on to say that the Breeze newsroom was so moved by our seemingly simple gesture that the editors and reporters there took up a collection of their own and made a donation, in the name of Herald Community Newspapers, to ECHO Global Farm, a nonprofit organization in Fort Meyers, Fla., that “assists small farmers and families throughout the world by teaching them how to more effectively produce the food needed to meet the needs of their families and communities.”

Despite sustaining $100,000 in damage to its facility, ECHO is providing aid to Puerto Rico, whose small family farms were ravaged by Hurricane Maria. To learn how you can help this organization, go to www.echonet.org.