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Residents bring Thanksgiving to the Rockaways

This Thanksgiving, 13 young men from the Odyssey House LeadershipCenter joined Occupy Sandy and the Red Cross to bring some holiday cheer to Rockaway families who were devastated by the hurricane. Led by program director Brendan Kavanaugh, the young men set up tables and chairs, cleared debris, and unloaded foodstuffs to put on a Thanksgiving meal for displaced families.

 The project gave the residents the opportunity to be of service to others and learn coping mechanisms for negative feelings or stress. Mr. Kavanaugh said, “Giving back to the community helped them deal with being separated from their loved ones during the holidays. After seeing the devastation in Far Rockaway, residents had newfound gratitude for their current life circumstances.”

The feedback from the residents was overwhelmingly positive. Gerrell M., echoing the response of many residents, said, “Helping people out always makes me feel good. I’m glad that I can make a big difference by doing something small.” Steven S.  was impressed by the number of volunteers who showed up to help, noting that it made the work easier and more enjoyable. He added, “It was a good bonding moment between my peers and the Leadership Center staff as well.”

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