Hurricane Season Ends, But Kids Continue to Give

A damaged roller coaster in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, sits offshore in the Atlantic Ocean after Hurricane Sandy.

Eight-year-old Gabriel Cox lives in Saint James, Missouri — a long way from any ocean.

But when he saw the damage done by Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast, he decided he had to do something to help kids affected by the storm.

So he started collecting toys and books for other kids who lost theirs.

“Some kids and their mommies and daddies lost everything,” Gabriel told the Rolla (Missouri) Daily News.  “It just makes me sad.

The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season officialy ended on Friday, November 30th.

But that’s not stopping kids across the country from continuing to collect donations for hurricane victims.

“There are so many kids who don’t have what I have,” Gabriel told reporter Jim Brock.  “And my mommy says it’s our job to serve those in need.”

There were 19 named storms during the 2012 season.

Ten of them became hurricanes.

And even though no hurricane that qualified as “major” made landfall in the United States, two of them did a lot of damage.

(A “major” hurricane has sustained winds of at least 111 miles an hour.)

In August, Hurricane Isaac killed approximately 40 people, including nine in the United States.

Five of those deaths were in Louisiana.

That’s where Isaac came ashore and caused severe flooding in some areas near New Orleans.

But the deadliest storm of the 2012 season was Hurricane Sandy.

It killed nearly 200 people in the United States and the Caribbean.

And it actually turned into a “Superstorm” that caused destruction hundreds of miles inland.

It even spun off a snowstorm in the Appalachian Mountains, from far western North Carolina up to Pennsylvania.

But Sandy did the most damage along the Atlantic Ocean, in New Jersey and New York.

“New York was devastated by the hurricane,” said A.J. Salazar, an eighth-grader at Central Middle School in Dover, Delaware, in an interview with the Dover Post.

On December 1st, A.J. and some of his classmates planned to travel to New York, along with a teacher, to “adopt a family,” as classmate Jaquan Dickson told Post reporter Antonio Prado.

“We’re going over there to help them out and help clean up,” A.J. added.  “We’re going to give them care packages.”

According to the Post, those care packages would contain things such as book bags, t-shirts and stuff you use in the bathroom — normal things you normally take for granted until you lose them.

Electricity is another normal thing you normally take for granted.

But in some areas hit by Sandy, the homes are still so badly damaged that the power can’t be turned back on just yet.

That’s why 9-year-old Claire Tenney and her twin brother, Curtis, reportedly came down to New York from Stamford, Connecticut, on Thanksgiving, bringing flashlights for people who still don’t have any other kind of lights.

Their family decided to make the trip on Thanksgiving, instead of sitting home all day eating turkey.

“(The people who got the flashlights) said, ‘Thank you’ and ‘Wow, I’m so touched,’” Claire told the New Canaan Daily Voice, the local newspaper in New Canaan, Connecticut.  “It made me feel good.”

The Tenney kids and their mom also gave out sandwiches, according to Daily Voice reporter Melvin Mason.

“It felt really good that we could help people,” Curtis added.

Claire and Curtis’ mom told the Daily Voice that the kids also donated $800 in money to Sandy’s victims — money they collected at their 9th birthday party, instead of accepting presents.

Why did they do it?

Gabriel Cox might have summed it up best.

“My mommy says when you help others, you fill your own bucket and feel better and good,” he told the Rolla Daily News.  “I didn’t really understand that until all of this.”