As a member of our Covenant House family, I know you would be proud of our staff, volunteers, and our kids during these difficult days.
Our staff evacuated dozens of kids from the coast as the storm loomed, drove through 90 mph wind gusts, set up our first emergency shelter - and each that followed - and have been with the kids round-the-clock since the hurricane. Many didn't return to their own homes or families for the first week.
The kids are beautiful, weary and tired. I told 6 year old Angel that we were going to get him home as soon as possible. He looked up at me with big eyes, wrapped his arms around his mom and our shelter director and said "this is home."
Covenant House is home for these kids. When the buildings failed, the people didn't, and our mission lived on through them.
We are helping more homeless kids in the storm ravaged area than ever before.
We are managing the gasoline and food scarcity issues, and friends across the country are responding to our Tweets and sending us baby supplies and grocery cards. Our Newark, Montclair and Elizabeth shelters are full - overflowing in fact. We are making room for every kid who needs us because now, more than ever, we are the safety net.
Our New York City shelter is packed. We are caring for more than 325 young people each day because our heroic staff worked round-the-clock, and a very special young person - with a gift for the kitchen - stepped up to cook 1,200 meals a day for her "family" as the CBS Morning Show reported: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50134388n
There are reasons to worry about the extent of our losses, and reasons to be hopeful, and we at Covenant House - we who believe in God's providence - choose hope!
We are feeding, clothing and sheltering so many homeless kids and they have lost so much in this storm. But not their dreams, not their resolve, not their hope.
And you are why - we together are why. Together we will return. We will rebuild. We will endure.
Bless you, and thank you for being a member of our family.