Kym Hampton Reflects on Sandy

By: Kym Hampton

This time of the year is all about family, giving and being reminded of the things we are thankful for. As I spent Thanksgiving with family and friends, I couldnt help but think about the families that are displaced during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In my mind, this is the time of year where everything is peaceful as families prepare for the upcoming holidays. Unfortunately, this isnt the case for many that lived in the direct path of Sandy.

When something like this happens, you watch the devastation on TV and wonder how you can make a difference. There were so many things that went through my mind like, If I donate money, does it actually get to the victims? If I just show up to offer help in one of the communities, will I be welcomed? Not knowing what to do left me stagnant. As each day passed, all I could offer those that lost loved ones, material possessions and life as they once knew it, were my prayers.

I have always been proud of my MSG family status, but the level was bumped up a few notches when Larry Johnson, John Wallace, John Starks, the Knicks City Dancers, Sue Wicks, myself and others, got the opportunity to help firsthand. We loaded and unloaded trucks carrying food and supplies, distributed new winter coats, gloves, hats, diapersyou name it. It really hit home that some people lost everything, as we also handed out toothbrushes and even underwear.

We got a chance to ride through several neighborhoods to not only see the destruction, but speak to quite a few homeowners vigorously working to throw everything they owned out on the curb. They ripped out floors, dry wall, cabinets and more, to try and salvage their homes, but it was their positive attitudes that took us all by surprise. Seeing these people helping neighbors, cleaning their gutted homes, smile and treat us with such warmth and kindness was amazing. It literally brought tears to my eyes to even think of losing everything, but to witness it firsthand (not on TV) with my own two eyes, was mind blowing.

Ive taken a few things from this experience:

 During life, things will always happen, but your perception finishes the story
 Material things come and go, but love lasts forever
 When you give of yourself, you receive as much if not more

Ive added some photos with hopes that you find your way to help those who continue to suffer great loss.