Supermodel Heidi Klum delivered cheer and much-needed supplies Sunday to a waterfront neighborhood in Seaford, Long Island, that saw extensive flood damage during Hurricane Sandy.
Her visit to Wantagh Fire Department Station No. 3 in Seaford was part of an AOL / Patch outreach effort in concert with the American Red Cross and the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management.
“These people suffered tremendous losses in their lives,” said Jay Cohen, Chairman of the Wantagh Board of Fire Commissioners. “Their possessions, their homes and simple things like clothes.”
Patch editors from around the region volunteered their time and Klum rode in on a truck filled with goods: Clothes, detergent, diapers and more.
“We’re hugely committed to people who are in need,” Patch co-founder and Chief Executive Jon Brod said. “We’re in the business of helping people. Period. That’s the first value of AOL. Patch does it every day of the week. But in times of crisis, we want to not only help digitally, but also help physically. So rolling out targeted relief supplies to places like Seaford and surrounding areas we couldn’t be happier with.”
With winter coming, warm clothes were a priority for locals still reeling from the storm. Bob Galewski and his wife patiently sifted through boxes looking for clothes to fit their young children.
“We’re making it through,” Galewski said. “Slowly rebuilding.”
Rebuilding, just like the fire house he was standing in. Station No. 3 opened less than a year ago, but suffered severe damage after four feet of water flooded the main floor. The scars from ripped out sheet rock are still visible along the walls.
More than 100 locals lined up at the fire house, many taking away red sacks loaded with goods, from gloves and canned food to pet supplies and blankets.
“People still are suffering,” Klum said. “People still need things. It’s not like you send a truck full of things and everything is fine again. It’s going to take a while to rebuild and for people to get back on their feet.”