When I saw the city through disaster
“It wasn't really until Hurricane Sandy that I realized that not only did I love New York, but that I was a New Yorker. The day after the storm, I was sitting in front of my laptop, scrolling through social media, looking at videos and photos of the capital-D destruction of the city. I saw a post looking for volunteers at the local YMCA, a nine-minute walk away, and it hit me: this wasn't destruction on the news. This was the destruction of my city, my home, my neighbors. I put on my coat, stuck a can of chili in my pocket (kind of dumb), and rushed to the Y.
I thought I’d be ladling soup or something, but my job was to escort patients to stalls, sanitize hands, and make sure the bathroom stayed clean. So there I was, watching nude older women bathe in sinks at the Y, offering soap, assisting women with walkers and placing them on the toilet, lifting them up when they were done with their business. I did it for four hours. That's the sort of thing you swear you will only do for family. And that day, my family became New York.” --Kate, 28