MASSAPEQUA, New York (PIX11) — When PIX11 News met New York City firefighter, Anthony Henry on the six-month anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, he told us how the brutal winds had sent scaffolding crashing into his family car — while the canals surged near his Massapequa house and flooded it.
“My life is a country song,” he quipped.
His wife, Beth, and their two little girls are still out of the home. Flood insurance would only cover $51,000 of an estimated $105,000 in needed repairs.
Now, as the one-year anniversary of Sandy approaches, Henry’s family is benefiting from a volunteer organization, in this week before the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. 9/11 has become known as a National Day of Service.
An organization called New York Says Thank You — which responded to flood-ravaged New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina — recruited firefighters from Slidell, La., Toronto, Canada and even Hawaii to work on Henry’s house and 14 other homes.
“Paying it forward,” said firefighter Eric Abney, from Louisiana, as he put Sheetrock up on the family’s gutted, first floor. “This group came to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina to help us, so it’s the right thing to do.”
Anthony Henry estimated the group has performed nearly $25,000 worth of labor and renovations in the last four days.
Jeff Parness of New York Says Thank You told PIX11 News that our story about the family on the six-month anniversary motivated his group to help the Henrys and he also presented the family with a check.
Beth Henry, a New York City school teacher, choked back tears, as she accepted it. “This is just incredible,” she said. “We’re so thankful for all of you. It’s overwhelming.”
We told Anthony Henry his life may now resemble a gospel song.
“Amen!” he responded.