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O’Neil Software helps Hurricane Sandy victims

Mar 05, 2013
O'Neil Software employees set about doing what they could to help Hurricane Sandy victims.
Christine Spisto, Marketing Communications/PR Director for O’Neil Software in the USA, found that Hurricane Sandy came a little too close to home for her even though she lives in California.  He brother, his wife and two sons, and her cousin and family all live in her home of Staten Island: where the storm hit hardest.  Spurred on by the closeness of the effect on one of its employees, O’Neil Software set about doing what it could to reduce the suffering of Christine’s relatives and the thousands of others affected by what became known as ‘Frankenstorm’ Sandy.

O’Neil Software employees were encouraged to bring into work items that were badly needed by those in Staten Island hit the hardest: cleaning supplies, toiletries, blankets, towels, toys and warm clothing, to mention a few. These small tokens of kindness and compassion were then boxed up and shipped by O’Neil Software to a local Staten Island school, that would handle the distribution to those in need.

Sandy has a thousand-mile wingspan. Staten Island roadways, residential and coastal communities flooded. Houses caught on fire. Storm waters rose killing and devastating the lives of people, their property and treasured small-town memories. Days later, Staten Island residents were still pleading for food and water, while others tried to survive cold temperatures without heat, electricity and necessities. Generators, that could provide power, sat idle in parking lots. Multitudes of people had no place to stay. And while there was gasoline at filling stations, most of them didn’t have power to run the pumps, so people were unable to get off the small island to higher ground, shelter, warmth and safety.

As they always do, Staten Island firefighters, police and emergency personnel performed at heroic levels, providing a glimpse into the never-ending strength and dedication of these first responders. Still hundreds were gravely affected. And major relief efforts were slow and inadequate, not unlike the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, despite several days of advanced warning.

In the hours, days and weeks following this natural disaster, the collective eyes of the world were fixed markedly on the affected area and its people. TV channels worldwide and the Internet provided constant updates; camera crews and news correspondents flocked like seagulls to the point of disaster; and a globalised world mourned the lives of those lost and prayed for their loved ones.

“Sadly, when Mother Nature is mad, there is no escaping her anger,” said Ian Thomas, Executive Vice President of O’Neil Software. “Our deepest condolences go out to the people who succumbed to this horrific storm and to those whose lives have been irreversibly scarred by this natural disaster and the nor’easter that followed.  We just couldn’t stand by and do nothing.”

 “Staten Island drew a very bad hand during Hurricane Sandy,” said Christine Spisto. “If natural disasters and catastrophic events have an upside, it’s the opportunity to remember our true values. You give with your heart, of course, but your heart tells you to do the most good with everything you give. That is what O’Neil Software has done helping my hometown of Staten Island.”


Photos: Some of the items donated by O'Neil Software employees

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