Triple-R was founded by 2 families after an F3
tornado devastated our hometown of Brimfield MA. None of us had ever
experienced an event of this magnitude. The pictures and news videos can't even
touch the feeling you have when you are standing in a quarter mile wide path of
destruction where your friends and families once lived.
After the federal and state agencies finished the initial stabilization, got
the roads open and the power back they moved on. The victims were left with
an overwhelming amount of debris and cleanup. They really had nowhere to
turn except to each other and volunteers. Everyone was tired and had no place
My name is Cosmo Casamassa I am one of the founders. I was collecting
food and supplies through drives that I organized at my work in
Westborough. I received hundreds of calls from people that could not
financially help but wanted to volunteer. They had contacted other agencies and
asked where they could volunteer. The other agencies had told them that they
were coordinating volunteer efforts, but they needed as much funding as
possible. However with this economy people could not afford the extra money but
they could give there time. Longtime friend and co-founder Mark Forsman was on
the grounds daily either delivering water or cutting trees from dawn till dusk with
some of the smaller volunteer groups. We both knew that more could be done but
Our families got together for a cookout and we formed a plan. Since there were
so many people that wanted to help and no one was organizing it, we should
attempt it and that’s exactly what we did.
We worked closely with our State Rep and organized the largest independently
organized cleanup effort to date in New England. We developed a website for
people to register for help and for volunteers to register to help. We assessed every property and matched the volunteers to the properties that best suited them to their qualifications andequipment. This way we could get the most amount of work done in the shortestamount of time. Our families collected food and beverages at supermarketsthe week prior to our first event to collect enough food to feed the volunteers.Our first event was an overwhelming success. We put 600 volunteers and 150 pieces on the ground over a 2 day time period covering 5 towns.
It was so successful that a lot of focus was put on our area. A few days
after we were approached by the Mass Service Alliance and were asked to
partner with them and the AmeriCorps on a day of community service in remembrance
of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It was an honor to be
asked and we went back to work. We reassessed every property again and asked
the volunteers for one more day. On 9/11/2011 along with the Mass Service
Alliance we put together another 600 volunteers and equipment and were back on
the grounds. That day we also distributed 2997 saplings, 1 sapling for every
person that died in the attacks 10 years prior. Each tree was marked with
the name of one person that lost their life on that horrific day.
Triple-R is switching gears this holiday season. We ultimately would like to
assist the victims of Super Storm Sandy. Our large scale cleanup events
would be a great help. That said the initial stabilization will take months by
the federal and state agencies and we could not potentially do any organized
efforts till early spring.
We want to help now!!!!
All the large agencies are asking for donations to help with the
stabilization. Some are looking for donations for all kinds of things from
rebuilding boardwalks to helping clean the favorite tourist
spot. They are forgetting about the youngest victims of these disasters.
What about the children?
The children that lost everything don't understand what happened and why. They lost everything as well and their lives are turned upside down. Their house was gone, their clothes are gone, their toys are gone and what about the holidays? Will there be a Christmas tree? Will there be presents? What do they have to look forward to this holiday season?
Triple-R wants to make a difference. We want to give these children some hope and joy this holiday season. We will be reaching out to as many of the local shelters and volunteer groups within the storm damaged areas to try and identify those families with children directly affected by the storm and in need. With your help we can help provide these families in giving their children at least a little something for Christmas this year.
We cannot determine how much assistance each family will receive as it will depend on many factors which include the amount of money raised, the amount of children and ages as well as the severity of the losses.
The success of this campaign really depends on the people of this great nation and the people that have the ability to help. The more people that open their hearts and contribute, the more children we can help.
Please help us help these victims and their children through this hard time. It is no ones fault that it happened but if we work together we can make this holiday season a little brighter. There smiles will be worth every penny
For more information please visit our website at http://rrrtornado2011.webs.com
Please click here to watch a short discriptive video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kwN4ZAhejw or click gallery 1
Thank you for your support.
Triple-R Bridges The Gap Inc.
Coordinates and oversees programs