Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Sandy victims prepare for subdued Thanksgiving

NEW YORK — The things Marge Gatti once cherished are lying on what's left of her deck, spattered in mud.

The white fur coat she bought for $80 at an auction. Family videos. A glass creamer from England. Books she never got a chance to read.

The stuff is ruined, just like her Staten Island home, which was ravaged by Superstorm Sandy and will be demolished in coming weeks.

Of all things material, Gatti has nothing. And yet, on Thanksgiving Day, she will be counting her blessings.

"My sons are alive. They were trapped here," said Gatti, 67, who lived down the block from the Atlantic Ocean for 32 years. "I'm thankful that I have all my family. And that my friends are still here, you know? We're all friends now. There's no strangers in life anymore."

It will be a subdued Thanksgiving for families hit hard by the storm. But they will not be left to fend for themselves.

Restaurants are donating meals, strangers and churches are opening their doors, and people across the nation have sent donations for those unable to roast their own turkeys.

New York City and Macy's have set aside 5,000 bleacher seats along the Thanksgiving Day Parade route for families affected by the storm. Occupy Sandy, the storm-relief offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement, will host a Thanksgiving dinner.

Jennifer Kaufman, of Washington Township, N.J., started a Facebook page called "A Place at the Table" that matches willing Thanksgiving hosts with families displaced by Sandy.

"No one should eat alone on Thanksgiving," Kaufman said.

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