Elderly NYC residents in high rise buildings receive food, water and support from volunteers

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The hands of an elderly African-American

The hands of an elderly African-American. © diego cervo - Fotolia.com

Flooding and reports of electricity losses have dominated coverage of Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath, but communities with elderly residents have recently added another dimension to the narrative. Those living in high-rise buildings throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island have redirected the attention of volunteers on the ground to the needs of aging citizens who desperately need help.

“God, oh mercy, I can’t go down the stairs,” 85-year-old Red Hook resident Joshua Rodney told the New York Post, referring to his injured leg and breathing problems. Like Rodney, numerous elderly residents have found themselves essentially trapped in their apartments, some still without power and steadily running out of food.

Contrary to the anti-social stereotypes often attached to New Yorkers, kind volunteers have emerged throughout the city, such as those at the Red Hook Initiative. Rodney and other older residents have come to depend on the daily meals, water, and other necessities delivered by such volunteers.

“I’ve seen worse. World War II was worse,” Dorothy Robinson, 94, told the NY Post. “But I didn’t think it was going to be this bad.”

Residents such as this have been provided with “rice, beans and vegetables, along with gallons of water for residents,” by kind strangers seeking to lend a helping hand to these fragile tenants. As New York City struggles to get back on its feet, it’s comforting to know that the resilient of the city are helping those most at risk.

Follow Patrice Peck on Twitter at @SpeakPatrice and Tumblr.