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Community organization aids Sandy victims

East Meadow resident hand-delivers supplies to Long Beach, Rockaways residents


Carrying a notebook and pen, East Meadow resident Michael Gordon has spent the past month walking door-to-door to the homes of Hurricane Sandy victims, jotting down the supplies that they need. After doing so, he makes them a promise — “I guarantee the next day I will be back to bring you your stuff,” he said.

And he does.

Since Hurricane Sandy struck Long Island more than one month ago, Gordon, 28, with the members of his recently formed community organization called “Pocket Change to Make a Change,” has made roughly 35 trips to Long Beach and the Rockaways — two of the hardest hit areas during the October superstorm.

What started with just three members — Gordon, his girlfriend Kathleen Bracker and his cousin Matthew Dosil — Pocket Change to Make a Change now comprises approximately 150 volunteers who have worked relentlessly to aid hurricane victims. “It’s just so overwhelming to see people care about other people,” said Gordon. “Because you don’t see it a lot.”

Pocket Change to Make a Change

Gordon, who has been an American Red Cross volunteer for eight years, created his community group in 2011, but it did not make any significant progress until recently. It all began when, after the hurricane struck, Gordon volunteered at Levittown Memorial High School, which served as a shelter in the aftermath of the wreckage.

Shortly after, he met with friend and Bellmore native, John Larocchia, whose own organization, called Laughter Saves Lives, was also in the midst of aiding hurricane victims. The two men teamed up with the Bellmore Knights of Columbus, and from there they planned their strategies — Larocchia and his group would work in local areas including Bellmore, Seaford and Lindenhurst, and Gordon would go to Long Beach. “We went to Long Beach, and I’ve never seen anything like it before,” said Gordon. “Sand was covering everything.”

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