Jeffrey Friedman Of The Retreat Publically Comments On Community Resilience That He Saw Post Sandy

I just got an e-mail from the executive director of The Retreat, Jeff Friedman, that shook up my soul a little bit. Jeff is a great guy and leads one of the most difficult organizations in the world, which is Long Island’s Domestic Violence Service known as The Retreat located in East Hampton. We developed a friendship a few years ago after we drove together in a charity car rally for the retreat. My Mother used to work for the Retreat, so I’ve observed personally how fundamentally important it is to have this service for victims of domestic violence. Anyway, below is Jeff’s e-mail that he sent out. Read it. It’s good.

Dear Reader,

Two weeks after Long Island was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, many of us are picking up the pieces one by one, and many families still remain without power, heat, and phone service.  Many of you have contacted us at The Retreat asking if we are okay and if we need anything in the aftermath of Sandy.  Thank you for your concern and the answer is yes.
 
While neighbors and communities have come together in an unprecedented way to restore and rebuild, household and family tensions are flaring in many areas, as the absence of basic resources like electricity, heat, and communication services persist.  
 
Despite the challenges posed by the most ferocious weather experienced in recent memory, The Retreat is proud to say: we were able to keep our emergency domestic violence shelter open and operating 24/7 without interruption.  We were able to prioritize The Retreat crisis hotline and quickly restore its access to the community  on the day following the storm.  We succeeded in providing instant and ongoing response, including counseling and legal advocacy to our area’s newest victims of family violence during a very trying time for all of us.
 
To make this happen, The Retreat’s staff and volunteers, like many of you out there, withstood and overcame obstacles big and small (from massive downed trees blocking streets to gasoline lines more than 2 hours long) in order to show up at work, with urgency, to provide essential life-changing services to women and children in danger.  As much of the world around us was falling apart, our team of mission-driven people created an environment of safety, comfort, nurturing, healing, and momentum toward a renewed wholeness for these families and for our eastern L.I. community.  
 
In the coming days, you will receive an invitation from The Retreat to BE A HERO.  This appeal, which comes as Thanksgiving approaches, will ask you to make a contribution to The Retreat.  Your contribution will enable The Retreat to continue delivering its critical services in all seasons (of life and weather), just as we have done – with your help – for the past 25 years.  Due to the recent storm in addition to our regular funding needs we are currently looking for help to defray the costs we have had to incur as a result of the storm, including the purchase of generators and other supplies.
 
We thank you in advance for your openness to this appeal and for your generosity.
 
If it’s easier for you to give a donation now, online, please do.  To donate, please visit this link: The Retreat’s Annual Appeal
 
Sincerely,  
   
Jeffrey Friedman
Executive Director

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