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Gov. Cuomo pitches in to help New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Irene

CRAIG D. FRAZIER Special to the AmNews | 9/7/2011, 3:22 p.m.
Planning for Hurricane Irene

The Labor Day weekend found New Yorkers shoveling mud, cleaning up and confronting each other amid the devastation wrought by Hurricane Irene. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he and his family "would join New Yorkers who turn out to help their neighbors with tools and elbow grease to help the Schoharie Valley, Catskills and the North Country, where the storm brought extensive damage."

Cuomo made good on his promise with a new initiative called "Labor for Your Neighbor." The program encourages citizens to pitch in and help their fellow New Yorkers hit hardest by Hurricane Irene.

Labor for Your Neighbor was created to build on the support already expressed by New Yorkers and stimulate even more neighbor-to-neighbor help as people work toward recovery.

"In village after village and town after town, we have witnessed the wonderful spirit of New Yorkers turning out to help others in need. Grocers have thrown open their doors and given away all their food. Customers have come out to clean up local businesses. Neighbors have shared food, clothing and shelter," Cuomo said in a release announcing the weekend efforts.

"Through Labor for Your Neighbor, we want to stimulate even more neighbor-to-neighbor help on this long holiday weekend. While government at all levels organizes resources for the great leaps toward full recovery, individual New Yorkers can, with just a few hours of work, help their neighbors take small steps toward normalcy."

For more information on participating in the Labor for Your Neighbor program, go to www.governor.ny.gov/laborforyourneighbor. Financial contributions to recovery efforts can be made through the United Way of New York State.