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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Homewatch CareGivers Heroes of Hurricane Sandy

Blog posting courtesy of Belinda Gordon, President, Homewatch Caregivers. 11.7.2012

Over the last two weeks the talk in the Lehigh Valley has gone from the predictions of how badly Hurricane Sandy would hit our area, to enduring the storm itself with its high winds and torrential downpours, to dealing with the aftermath of fallen trees, downed wires and no electricity as temperatures dropped below freezing.

When it was all over the stories emerged. Where ever people met, they swapped accounts of the damage Sandy caused. These sometimes tragic stories were tempered by the inevitable tales of people rising to the occasion and becoming heroes to those around them.

I talk a lot about how wonderful our team is at Homewatch CareGivers of the Lehigh Valley. I tell anyone who will listen that they are simply the best around. But last week many of them rose to the level of Hero in my book. Let me tell you some of their stories.

On Tuesday driving around the Lehigh Valley was next to impossible, everywhere you turned trees and downed electrical wires blocked the road. Several of our caregivers, including Jody Berger and Enid Aponte, walked to their clients- who they weren’t even schedule to see- taking them food and water. Jody was actually supposed to be on vacation that day. Loretta Lomonaco also checked up on as many clients as she could reach.

It took days for many people in the valley to get their electrical service back, and that included a number of our clients as well. Peter Stamm and Maribel Nunez welcomed their clients into their homes so they could remain safe and warm while they waited for their electricity to return.

Some caregivers cared for their clients as best they could without electricity and, when it became just too cold, helped move them temporarily into the home of a family member, facility or shelter where they would be warm. Chibogo Anosike and Alison Holben took care of their client at the hotel where she was staying with her husband.

When talking about the heroes on our team I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about our wonderful office staff. Josh Benavides went into the office on the Saturday before the storm to process payroll so everyone could get paid on time despite of Sandy. Ruth Luciano, Tiffany Ramos and Maritza Feliciano, all losing electricity at their own homes, sought out family and friends who had electricity and worked off their cell phones to keep the ship running- checking in with clients and caregivers to make sure everyone was safe and had the care they needed.

These are just the stories that have reached my ear. I have no doubt that there are many many more. How can I be so sure? Because our caregivers and staff do these kinds of generous, thoughtful things whenever they see a need. It’s part of their DNA.

So let me take this opportunity to thank these wonderful people who work for me. I hope these stories have given you a sense of the type of people they are. I’m proud to call them members of the Homewatch CareGivers team.

Belinda Gordon, CSA
Homewatch CareGivers of the Lehigh Valley