News / USA

After Sandy, New Yorkers Give Holiday Thanks

Like many New Yorkers, Rashawn Austin feels renewed gratitude for family, shelter and other blessings this Thanksgiving in the wake of Hurricane Sandy's devastation. (VOA/A. Phillips)
Like many New Yorkers, Rashawn Austin feels renewed gratitude for family, shelter and other blessings this Thanksgiving in the wake of Hurricane Sandy's devastation. (VOA/A. Phillips)
Adam Phillips
— This year's Thanksgiving holiday falls just three weeks after Hurricane Sandy battered New York City, leaving thousands homeless or displaced.

Rashawn Austin’s neighborhood was relatively unscathed but loved ones elsewhere in the city weren’t so lucky. For her, the awareness of insecurity and blessing are paired this year. 

“A friend of mine sent me a photo of a spot where we used to sit at Long Beach maybe three months ago. The spot is completely gone," Austin says. "I think this year a lot of people are probably looking at the fact … that I am actually sitting with my family and we are all healthy and everything is good…. You know, in spite of everything… it’s a positive thing.”

Among the travelers packing the city's bustling Pennsylvania Station is Sandra, an out-of-towner on her way to catch a train home. She and three women friends came to the city without careful planning. She's thankful they survived some unexpected adventures getting here. 

Preparing to board their train home, out-of-towners Sandy (second from right) and her friends are grateful they survived their unexpected adventures in New York. (VOA/A. Phillips)Preparing to board their train home, out-of-towners Sandy (second from right) and her friends are grateful they survived their unexpected adventures in New York. (VOA/A. Phillips)
x
Preparing to board their train home, out-of-towners Sandy (second from right) and her friends are grateful they survived their unexpected adventures in New York. (VOA/A. Phillips)
Preparing to board their train home, out-of-towners Sandy (second from right) and her friends are grateful they survived their unexpected adventures in New York. (VOA/A. Phillips)
"We rode in on Amtrak and we got dumped out in the middle of nowhere. Had no idea what we were doing," Sandra says. "We had never ridden the train and we were just looking around trying to follow the herd with all of our luggage. But we made it out of the train tracks, went out and got a taxi, rolled to our hotel, and once we got our bearings, we just rocked this city."

Up in Central Park, Jeff is having a ball listening to an ad hoc drum circle. He is thankful to be back in his hometown after 20 years out west.      

“And this Thanksgiving I am grateful for my beautiful healthy family that I am here traveling in New York City with," Jeff says. "We’ve been in Los Angeles 20 years, and we’re excited to show the kids the city and the fall and we’re having a great time.”

Jeff’s 10-year-old daughter has things she's thankful for as well.

"My family, because they keep me safe," she says, "and they make me feel special."
After Sandy, New Yorkers Give Holiday Thanks
After Sandy, New Yorkers Give Holiday Thanksi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

At a popular sidewalk café uptown, New Yorker Jeff Ellenberger expresses similar feelings.   

“I am very grateful for friends who have put out helping hands in times of stress.  I came in here and was in a very dark mood and in 10 minutes this guy had me going again.”

“This guy” is Bob Mills, who is thankful he left a dangerous drinking habit behind.  

“I am grateful this year to be sober," Mills says. "I am sober 26 years and to have redeemed my life through 12 step programs and fellowship. The people I love. The love I can give. My health.”
After brushes with the law, street cleaner Rafael Romero is grateful to have a new start in life. (VOA/A. Phillips)After brushes with the law, street cleaner Rafael Romero is grateful to have a new start in life. (VOA/A. Phillips)
x
After brushes with the law, street cleaner Rafael Romero is grateful to have a new start in life. (VOA/A. Phillips)
After brushes with the law, street cleaner Rafael Romero is grateful to have a new start in life. (VOA/A. Phillips)

It is new-found freedom, following a prison term for selling illegal drugs, that has Rafael Romero feeling grateful this Thanksgiving. He's now a street cleaner proudly working for an honest wage.

“I am grateful for just being home and being able to start a new life. Being happy and not having to look over my shoulder," Romero says. "I am happy that I am being a different person, changed, and I am just looking for a new beginning."

Liburna Deva came to New York from Kosovo to pursue a graduate degree. She also hopes for success in life, and, like many, is grateful to America for giving her a shot at her dreams. 

“It’s unbelievable that I am here for only three years and I can call this place home," Deva says. "That’s what America does to you and I am grateful for that. A lot. Yes, it’s going to a good Thanksgiving, a lot to be thankful for.”

Some of the thoughts of gratitude that Americans will be digesting, along with their turkey and trimmings, this Thursday, Nov. 22, Thanksgiving 2012.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid