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Friday, November 9, 2012

Steve Burton & Scott Reeves Lend A Helping Hand...

In the wake of one of the worst hurricanes to ever hit our eastern shores, many have lost everything- their loved ones, homes, cars and will never be the same again.  One of the amazing things to come out of this tragedy is unity and a willingness to help.  Not only are those in the affected communities and outlying areas stepping up to the plate, but so are many within the soap genre.
I spoke to Linda Rohe, Founder and President of Coastal Entertainment Productions.  Over the years she has formed not only a professional relationship, but also friendship to many of the soap actors that book fan events through Coastal. She described conditions in Atlantic Beach, East Atlantic City and Long Beach are literally a nightmare. There is a ton of flood damage, homes completely destroyed, vehicles are not drivable and they have yet to learn when power will be restored- conservative estimates is possibly Thanksgiving.  

Incredibly it is clear city, state and federal government have disappeared leaving residents to fend for themselves. Apparently the Red Cross was in East Atlantic City last week, but left and has not been seen since.  Residents have no idea what is going on or when help will arrive.  Garbage is piling up with very infrequent service and there is no drinkable or usable water due to contamination.  Many did not evacuate and refuse to leave their homes for fear of looting.  Those who lost their homes have retreated to shelters or are living with friends and family.  Those able to make calls have been attempting to reach FEMA, in hopes they will step in immediately.  In addition to unlivable conditions Linda indicated her insurance company Fidelity, who is connected to FEMA, refuses to cover pumping out the sewer and mud water in her basement.  Nor will they cover anything other than sheet rock replacement to reconstruct her bathroom, which is completely destroyed due to flooding.  My guess is other homeowners will have similar issues.
Since several General Hospital actors have been to Linda's home, business and neighborhood they have been instrumental in helping her community.  Steve Burton, who recently left his role on General Hospital after 21 years as Jason Quartermaine Morgan quickly stepped in to lend a helping hand.   Maurice Benard,  Dominic Zamprogna and other castmates have also been in contact asking how they can help. Steve, along with colleague Scott Reeves devised a plan to expeditiously assist those in need.  Steve tweeted on November 7 he wanted to help his friends from Coastal Entertainment and their communities.  This is what he proposed:

"Good Morning, as you know, there are many victims of Sandy and tremendous devastation. A lot of people are still without and will be for months to come. My prayers have been and still are with them. My good friend Linda Rohe @coastalent1 and her neighborhood in East Atlantic Beach, NY is suffering. I'm not there so I don't know the reality of the struggles, only what Linda has told me. If she says it's bad, I know it’s worse. Linda has continued to work and has been driving out there to help. I want to help. I want to be there, but due to my schedule I cannot be. @reevesforreal and his son are on their way with a truck to deliver goods to our friends there. @reevesfroreal and @coastalent1 will be making deliveries for days to come. A lot of you who know @coastalent1 have already reached out and I appreciate that. And a lot of you have been asking? So here's the plan. Now that we have @reevesforreal on the  ground there, since there were no rentals cars in NYC, he is driving there today from Nashville. So, how can we help? Gift Cards. I'll be sending gift cards from Costco and Target. We have determined that this is the best way to get them what they need. So if you would like to help, please send a gift card from one of these places. Costco or Target. Linda will not only buy supplies but also give out the cards to those who are in great need. Every little bit helps. Please send gift card, if you can, to: Coastal Entertainment 32-31 35th Street , Astoria, NY 11106  Thank you in advance and God Bless"   

Steve later added that those who'd like to donate a Target or Costco gift card but do not have one nearby can do so via their websites. Here are links for both to purchase gift cards: 

Wednesday November 7, Scott drove from Nashville to New York with his son in a truck loaded with over $1000 worth of items donated by them, as well as Steve.  This morning Scott and Linda were in East Atlantic City to begin distribution.  Initially victims cautiously emerged from their homes, but upon realizing it was Scott were grateful for the supplies.  If you’d like to send goods, they are asking for bottled water, cleaning supplies, flood supplies and canned goods.  While some have the ability to make calls, most have no power or transportation to get to the areas with power.  I'm asking anyone able to donate generators or trucks to help victims get basic needs, please do.  Right now the Ice Arena in Long Island is the staging area, where food and supplies are being stored.  A note from a little girl was found earlier Friday afternoon, giving a little support:  

"Hi. My name is Samantha.  I live in Queens, New York. I know how tough it is for you. 
 I didn't have power for a week and I was cold too. 
Don't worry, it will get better.  Samantha."

If you can't help by sending a donation, your time would be appreciated.  Linda reported the community is in dire need of volunteers, especially Monday through Friday.  If you are interested in volunteering, please go to Direct Ice Arena located at 175 Pine Street in East Atlantic City and they will put you to work.    

Tune in to RHeart Radio, the Fan's Voice for a Special Edition on Monday, November 12 at 9:00pm (ET) for information and updates on how you can help those affected by Sandy.  

Thousands are without homes and now, as new winter storms head their way, victims need your help more than ever.  What affects one, affects us all...United We Stand!


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