The following is a first-hand account of Coast Guard Foundation Trustee, Jim Mathieu and his family, who spent the past weekend helping Coast Guard families affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Before heading up to New York City for the Veterans Day parade, my wife, Lori, and my son, James II, and I called out to our neighbors for clothing to support Coast Guard families in need after Hurricane Sandy in the greater New York, New Jersey area. Within hours, our car was full and we placed our car carrier on top and that too was filled.
I then called Linda Papp, the wife of Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert Papp, and asked where we deliver these items. Linda was already on Staten Island with the Command Ombudsman Casey Van Huysen. Linda was holding an all hands/spouses meeting. We called Casey when we arrived at Sector New York, and she met us at the residence where all the donations were being stored.
Casey was so glad to meet us and we started immediately unloading our car. She was shocked at how much we squeezed into the car and carrier. We went inside and the storage area was already being utilized by Coast Guard families in need. It was a tear generating moment!
After we offloaded everything, I took Casey aside, thanked her and asked her what is the one thing the Coast Guard Foundation can do for right now. She said, all the displaced families with children in hotels, motels, and guest houses would like board games, cards, things like that which do not require batteries or electricity. I said, done!
My son James II, wife and I headed for Toys R Us the next day and loaded up with games for the kids and delivered them to Casey. I was touched to see the outpouring of support for these families in need, and proud to be able to provide some relief in some small measure by my family. Hopefully others will be inspired to help, as well, at any level.
- Jim Mathieu, Retired Coast Guard Commander and Foundation Trustee
James Mathieu II squeezed into the family car filled with toys and games for Coastie kids affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The Mathieu Family vehicle stuffed to the gills with toys for Coastie Kids in New York/New Jersey put out by Hurricane Sandy.