After Sandy: Americans always quick to lend a hand

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: November 7, 2012

Superstorm Sandy killed more than 100 in the Northeast last week and left millions without electricity. In its aftermath came spontaneous relief efforts, large and small. We witnessed the same here in 1995 when a terrorist blew up our federal building. Joplin, Mo., knows the kindness of fellow Americans, as does tornado-ravaged Alabama.

In New York, NBA star Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat said his team's game Friday night against the Knicks shouldn't have been played given the circumstances. But he made the most of it by donating the equivalent of one game's pay — about $210,000 — to relief efforts.

Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi, two sons of hard-hit New Jersey, were among the performers who played a benefit concert Friday night that was televised by NBC. It generated $22.9 million in pledges for the American Red Cross. ABC held a “Day of Giving” on Monday urging viewers to give to the Red Cross. It netted nearly $17 million. Television network MTV, home of the “Jersey Shore” reality show, plans a fundraising special Nov. 15 featuring the show's cast and other guests.

The storm prompted the cancellation of the New York City Marathon, one of the top road races in the world. Hundreds of runners, many wearing their race jerseys, instead used Sunday to help with cleanup. Catholic churches in the diocese of Oklahoma City took up a special collection Sunday to benefit victims of Sandy. Knowing what we do of Oklahomans, no doubt other churches did the same, or plan to.

When disasters strike anywhere around the world — earthquakes in Haiti, tsunamis in Japan, famine in Africa, you name it — the United States leads the way in providing assistance both financial and physical. But as we're seeing with Sandy and have seen many times before, we do a pretty good job of helping our own, too.


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