Sep. 10

One America Tour Brings New Yorkers Together to Help Hurricane Sandy Victims

In the bright sun this afternoon, volunteers from New York Cares and Chase spread across the New York area to help rebuild five homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy – cleaning up debris, pulling out nails and otherwise prepping the houses for repair. 

Volunteers cut insulation for a storm-damaged
house on Staten Island.

As they worked, they talked about how important it was to be there, helping others on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary. Around this time each year New Yorkers recaputre the giving spirit that enveloped the city after the terror attacks.

Today's rebuilding projects were part of the New York stop of One America, a tour led by Points of Light and Chase that aims to bring together powerful voices in politics, entertainment and sports to inspire Americans to unite in volunteer service year-round.

Earlier in the day in Manhattan, a diverse group of New Yorkers, including New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz and Fox News contributor Dana Perino, gathered to discuss how Americans can improve communities when they work toward a common goal.

Neil Bush congratulates Victor Cruz.

Good-naturedly admitting that he’s a Washington Redskins fan, Peter Scher, executive vice president and global head of corporate social responsibility at Chase, introduced Cruz, telling how the record-setting NFL player emerged from an environment lacking role models to become a role model himself. Scher said Cruz reminds us: “We need to remember where we came from.”

Points of Light Chairman Neil Bush presented Cruz with a Daily Point of Light Award for his ongoing work helping kids excel despite hardships they face. Bush praised volunteers like Cruz for their commitment.

“When my father started Points of Light, there were 23 million volunteers,” Bush said of President George H. W. Bush. “Now there are more than 64 million – people from different backgrounds working shoulder to shoulder to make a difference.”

The next One America tour stop will be in Chicago on September 24. To sign up for regular updates or suggest your own unlikely pairs to unite in service, go to or join the conversation on Twitter using #1America.

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