Marshall Finds Consul Generals Volunteering
Even though she has touted Queens County as America’s most diverse borough, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall said that she was surprised to find five consul generals from Caribbean nations working as volunteers at an evacuation center in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
During a visit on November 9 to Queens College’s gymnasium, which has been turned into a shelter for Hurricane Sandy victims, to drop off relief supplies donated by the Johnson & Johnson drug company, Marshall was greeted by consul generals, including those from Haiti, Guyana, St. Lucia and Grenada.
“What are you doing here,” asked Marshall. Each of the diplomats replied, “Volunteering!”. The borough president said that she was moved by the moment, despite looking at the hundreds of cots on the gym floor for upwards of 400 evacuees of the storm that caused an estimated $33 billion in damages so far in New York City. Approximately 75 percent of the evacuees at the college were from Rockaway, according to shelter officials from the City Department of Homeless Services.
In other Sandy-related developments, Marshall announced that her office would work with the Coalition for Queens, a nonprofit organization promoting a tech ecosystem for Queens to set up a new data Web site that will provide information on everything from how to secure food and housing to help with utilities, cleanup and health as the effort to rebuild Sandy-devastated communities moves forward. “I am grateful to the Coalition for their efforts to help us rebuild and restore,” Marshall said.