In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many established organizations quickly began collecting donations for the communities hardest hit, but some Rockville Centre residents, seeking another avenue to help, formed their own organization to help their neighbors.
With the help of Mayor Francis Murray, residents formed RVC Helping Others Means Everything (HOME) in order to help East Rockaway, Oceanside, Island Park and Long Beach residents.
According to one of its founding members, who asked to remain anonymous to keep the focus on those in need, the group is working in conjunction with the Diocese of Rockville Centre to supply storm victims with the things they need most.
Acknowledging that other organizations had been collecting food and clothing, Murray said that RVC HOME’s first fundraiser focused on collecting lanterns and batteries.
“So many people in Rockville Centre, once they got their lights on, started to help the residents in the towns around us,” Murray said. “Everyone else was giving food and clothing, so we wanted to give people light.”
The mayor sent out a Swift911 message to residents telling them about RVC HOME and asking for spare battery-operated lanterns for people still living without power. RVC HOME collected the lanterns and batteries at the St. Agnes Parish Center on Nov. 10 and delivered them on Sunday afternoon to residents in the different towns.
Also on Sunday, group members purchased 250 subsidized sandwiches from RVC Links, along with five cases of water, and gave them out , along with hot coffee and cleaning supplies.
More than 70 lanterns were collected and distributed, as well as 50 flashlights and hundreds of batteries. RVC HOME is working with the village to achieve not-for-profit status so it will be able to collect monetary donations as well as material goods.
Residents with questions about RVC HOME can call (917) 304-2063 or email H.O.M.E.SandyRelief@rvcny.us.
“I know that at this time of need, I can count on all Rockville Centre residents to pull together to make the lives of our neighbors who have lost so much just a little easier,” Murray said in the Swift911 message. “Thank you for your support and your caring. May God bless you and your families during these difficult times.”