Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo brought some much needed holiday cheer to families affected by Hurricane Sandy on Staten Island this year. With help from some very generous New York State tree farmers, the governor had 400 fresh evergreen trees donated to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation Hurricane Sandy center in New Dorp. With many Sandy victims still displaced from their homes, the hope was that seeing a beautifully-lit Christmas tree might still bring a smile and message of hope for the holidays.
The free trees were trucked onto an eighteen wheeler, and unloaded at the center. Dozens of volunteers joined to help spread the spirit of giving, unloading the trees and setting up a makeshift Christmas tree lot. Donated by members of the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York, the trees were given as a surprise gift to bring cheer to Hurricane Sandy victims.
With budgets tight after losing nearly everything, the holidays have been a difficult time for the victims. Each of the donated trees given out retail at around $50, a high price considering that many families are still waiting for insurance money. Some of the families who received the free trees had never owned a real tree before, which brought even more Christmas excitement.