Members of the next Sandy restoration crew will ﬂy into New York this weekend from all around the country: places like Chino Hills, CA, Greendale, WI, and Moore, OK.
Moore, the OKC suburb that was ﬂattened just three and a half weeks ago by an EF5 tornado. Twenty-three dead, 13,000 homes destroyed or damaged, $2 billion of widespread wreckage. Yeah, that Moore.
“When the tornado ﬁrst struck, I volunteered at church every day for two weeks, handing out donated food and clothing,” notes 18-year oldJason Dydynski, a student at the University of Oklahoma. His family’s home was largely spared, “but just a block from my house, it’s total devastation. So many of my friends lost their homes.”
With his hometown in such need, you may wonder why Jason wants to go to New York. Simple, he says. It’s payback. “We (in Moore) were so blessed that people wanted to help us,” he explains. “People from across the country, from all over the world were helping my town, sending supplies and donations, even though many didn’t even know where Oklahoma is.
“I want to take up that spirit to help a place you’re not related to. I live here, I can always help Moore. But by volunteering to help New Yorkers recover from Hurricane Sandy, I can help some of the people who have been helping us in Moore.”
Jason says his altruism comes in part from SCA. A part-time model for American Eagle (he won the gig in a contest), he participated in an AE video we shot in California and a few months later served on a Santa Monica Mountains ASB last spring. “I really enjoyed it. It was such a different experience,” he recalls. “Everyone was so passionate about the environment, it really inspired me. It’s one thing to say ‘yeah, we all need to conserve water’ but when you get outside and work in a park, for example, it gets a lot more personal, you realize the stakes, and you can’t help but to want to make a difference.”
How transformative could the SCA experience really be? Ask Jason Dydynski!