Volunteers standing outside in front of debris following Hurricane Irma.

Resident Volunteers Step Up to Clean Up

By Larisa Svechin, Commissioner

(Monday, October 2, 2017) – Sunny Isles Beach is profoundly diverse and unique. For many reasons, this is the only city I would live in. Yet, it was not until Hurricane Irma that I realized how true this statement is. As a community we proved what I suspected: that we are resilient yet patient, not perfect yet talented, and tough yet loving. One thing we all have in common is that we adore Sunny Isles Beach.

Once residents began returning to the City, the storm damage was clear. We were lucky it was minimal compared to others. However, the damage did impact our daily lives. Our roads, parks, and school were closed. And many of our vulnerable residents were at risk. They had no power and no food. So when I asked for volunteers to help clear debris from streets, parks and beach accesses, and make and deliver food for those without–YOU CAME. Many probably do not know that these volunteer residents scoured the parks for broken glass, walked the length of Collins Avenue clearing beach access points, cut down trees, filled garbage bags, helped save the newly-planted trees and made sure that those in need received food and water.

There are many more of you out there that I have not yet met, who quietly volunteer your time, energy, ability and companionship to others. I am profoundly humbled by your generosity. May we never have to get together under these circumstances again, but if we do, I know our resident volunteers will be there again to provide for those who need that extra help.