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Red Cross on Sandy: “The Teamsters have been instrumental in helping us deliver to those in need.”

With their expertise in organizing, loading and hauling the Teamsters Union has become an invaluable part of continued efforts to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy. The region’s Teamsters have been spending their nights filling trucks with food and water, blankets, clean up kits, and other necessities so those most in need are fully stocked. For this they’ve been recognized by the Red Cross:

“Some of our guys get only one day off, and their wives already had jobs lined up for them,” said Rich Caldwell, a Teamster from Milford, PA and one of the dozens of Teamsters helping out on the Red Cross Sandy mission. “My wife said go on, get out of here!”

The American Red Cross’ called the Teamsters number, seeking aid in the Rockaways, and the union answered the call:

“People poured out of the recreation center when we drove up with water,” said Joseph Vitta of Teamsters Local 812. Vitta was part of the Teamsters coalition to load ready and waiting ERVs dispatched to stop door-to-door to bring goods directly to people.

“The Red Cross has an amazing capacity and has been responsive,” said George Miranda, President of Teamsters Joint Council 16. “We have the members in place that can get it to the locals. We’re heading in the right direction. The partnership is working well.”

Red Cross volunteers have been moved by Teamster efforts:

Laura Hevesi of the Red Cross praised the Teamsters with whom she worked. “Some came out night after night, making the long drive from Jersey City to staging points in far-flung places, ensuring everything people needed would be available the next day.”

Perhaps the only sliver of silver lining in a disaster situation as tremendous as this is the restoration of faith in one’s neighbors, the reminder that taking others for granted is wholly unnatural.


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