LA based Database Administrator, Bill Willits, trained for months in preparation for the world famous New York Marathon. One thing he couldn’t prepare for was the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. Once Bill touched down in NYC he know he would not be participating in the marathon after witnessing the aftermath of Sandy: neighborhoods still without power, massive lines at gas stations, flooding, destruction, etc. When Bill was notified that the race had officially been cancelled, he began researching NYC Marathon Relief initiatives. Bill came across a group that was already organizing relief efforts to the 3 hard hit areas: the Rockaways, Staten Island and Coney Island.
Bill decided to join at least 500 other volunteers Sunday morning (the scheduled day of the marathon) in Staten Island searching for people in need of help. Bill and the volunteers went from house to house, seeing what the families needed, including helping them remove their personal items from their home or removing dangerous debris from the area. As he continued to work, more and more volunteers continued to show up and come to the aid of families severely affected by the hurricane. The day was both emotionally and physically draining.
All those involved were moved by how much progress they had made but how it was immeasurable related to the overall work needed to restore the area. In Bill’s words, “It really was a marathon of relief which was much more fulfilling then any ‘normal’ marathon could have ever been.” We are very proud of our team member Bill for joining in on the relief efforts- he is truly an inspiration to all of us.