By now, I’m sure most of you are aware of the devastation in the Northeast due to Hurricane Sandy. The pictures that you might have seen on TV and online, I know, are truly horrendous and maddening. The fact that wind and water have the power to rip through and ruin thousands of lives in just a matter of hours is absolutely mind boggling. I was born and raised here in New York City. I grew up on Staten Island, one of the hardest hit areas and whose death toll makes up nearly half of the total number of lost lives. You always think that a disaster so catastrophic couldn’t happen to you, to people you know, in neighborhoods you’re familiar with and communities you’ve been a part of… until it does.

New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut are really suffering. Houses are in shambles, families are displaced, lives are disrupted and changed forever. I drove through and volunteered in one of the most ravaged parts of Staten Island yesterday and what I saw was just unspeakable, indescribable, and saddening to the point that you wonder, “Could it get it any worse?” It’s difficult to imagine a world where you can’t go home, a world without a warm bed, a world without a fridge full of food, a world without hot water, a world without electricity and internet. But it’s a reality for thousands and thousands right now and for many of those, it’s most likely going to be a brutal future for months to come.

Thankfully, many people have been gracious enough to donate money and volunteer their own time. And even though the road ahead may look bleak, at least we know there are generous, kind and compassionate people out there that can be the light at the end of the tunnel. I ask that if you can, ninjas, please donate to the Red Cross. You can visit their website for more information, or you can easily give $10 just by texting “RedCross” to 90999. Every little bit counts. People are in need of everything from toothpaste and shampoo, to socks and batteries, and your offering will go a long, long way.

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