On October 29, 2012, the world watched as Hurricane Sandy devastated the Northeast. The day after, we saw just how far-reaching and how unprecedented the destruction of Sandy actually was. Since then, we’ve watched countless news clips of homes and entire communities destroyed and we’ve seen the devastating images of families who have lost everything. But, as the recovery effort continues, there is one theme we’ll continue to see: the surge of human kindness.

A colleague of ours has a friend in New Jersey, who offered to take in her son’s friend, Billy, after Billy and his mom were evacuated. Billy’s mom dropped him off before the storm made landfall and called him after the storm passed and she surveyed their home for damage. A single parent, living paycheck-to-paycheck, had to call her 8-year-old son to tell him that they didn’t have a home to go back to and that everything was gone.

After our colleague’s friend posted Billy’s story on her personal Facebook page, within hours, she began receiving messages from complete strangers, who said that they saw the story on someone else’s page and asked her how they could help. Within days, Billy began receiving shipment after shipment of boxes filled with clothes and toys and blankets and basic household items. What’s more is that almost every box contained a cash donation and a message with warm wishes for Billy and his mother.

The outpouring of kindness was also reported as children in unaffected areas, in the days following the storm, promoted sandwich-making marathons in response to seeing television coverage of victims dumpster diving in search of food. In the midst of adversity, volunteers banded together to help rebuild communities, distribute blankets and clothing, care for the elderly, and deliver hot meals to those in need.

AlphaStaff is also committed to providing relief for Sandy victims as they continue to recover. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, we set up a Virtual Food Drive through Feeding America to collect donations to assist local food banks.

In the spirit of giving – giving thanks, giving back, and giving to others in need – we took a moment to be grateful for the things we have. We felt that every family deserved to have a Thanksgiving dinner and we encouraged our employees to donate and spread the word about our drive.

Through our relief efforts, we were able to collect a considerable amount of donations that were put to work at local food banks, which helped many families this Thanksgiving. We’re extremely proud of our employees for their generosity and their willingness to help others in need.

Even though Sandy made landfall over a month and a half ago and the number of news stories are dwindling down, it’s important to remember that the recovery effort isn’t over. This holiday season will be especially difficult for families who were affected by Sandy.

Donations to local organizations are the best way to get involved this holiday season. If you can’t donate, look into local non-profit organizations providing disaster relief to Sandy Victims.

There’s a way for everybody to help and, if we take the opportunities to do so, we’ll be able to help many more families like Billy’s on their way to recovery and to celebrate the holidays this year.