Greek Orthodox Church Brings Aid to Sandy-Ravaged Gerritsen Beach

Colin Mixson | 05 December 2012

A Midwood parish has done its part to prove that the ancient axiom “beware of Greeks bearing gifts” doesn’t ring true.

The Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church, working with the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas and the Volunteer Fire Department of Bethlehem, Pa., sent a box truck and three Suburbans stuffed with desperately needed supplies to Gerritsen Beach on Dec. 1, a neighborhood that still lacks even the most basic supplies more than a month after it was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Photo by Elizabeth Graham

“The whole community is totally whacked,” said Gus Savaros, a Three Hierachs parishioner who helped organize the relief effort. “It’s a great country, it’s been good to me, and I’m trying to be good to it.”

The box truck laden with supplies was collected by the Pennsylvania church and driven into Brooklyn by three volunteer firefighters — Stathis Kandianis, Pete Dectis, and Jeff White — who not only donated their time, but also dipped into their own wallets in order to rent the supply truck.

“They were really great,” Savaros said of Pennsylvania’s bravest. “It warms your heart to know there’s some good Americans left.”

The Pennyslvania firefighters aren’t the only ones going above and beyond — aside from helping to organize the relief effort, 77-year-old Girl Scout Leader Stella Oberle was heaving supplies out of the truck alongside the young men.

“She’s 77 and she got in their hauling stuff out of the trucks,” said Savaros. “I was looking at her laughing. Oh my God.”

But no matter how much fresh water, bleach, toys, and dry foods are brought into the devastated neighborhood, the supplies are always claimed by cold and hungry Brooklynites faster than it can be brought in, according to Savaros.

“We bought five or six pallets of water, and a firefighter told us that someone else had come in with four pallets earlier, and they were gone within a few hours,” said Savaros. “The demand for fresh drinking water is so high.”

“The people don’t have water, the ladies are coming in to get toilet paper,” he added.

“This is pathetic stuff, things we take for granted. Your heart has to bleed.”

Source: Brooklyn Daily

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