A local New York teen forms a first responder group and helps collect flags in wake of Hurricane Sandy.
In Staten Island, New York a cunning squirrel wanted to show his patriotic spirit and has since gained the nickname the Star Spangled Squirrel. After wandering into the Spears family front yard, the little critter apparently swiped their American flag and used it to line his nest in a large tree.
A family member Sandra Spears recalls looking out into the backyard and noticing the iconic stars and stripes patter peeking out high above from one of their trees. The Spears’ feed the birds and squirrels every day in front of their house where they proudly display their patriotism with a few American flags. What they never thought is that one little squirrel would be able to highjack one of those flags.
The whole incident had a sense of irony for the family since Ms. Spears’ son Christian Spears, 19, played an important part in helping clean up American flags blown down and damaged in front of the local VFW during Hurricane Sandy. After collecting 40-50 flags, Christian and other community members placed them around Staten Island as symbols of pride and hope.
Spears’ community involvement did not stop there. As a direct result he formed the Staten Island Friends Together (SIFT) in order to help clean up the streets and homes of Sandy victims. Christian wasted no time and formed SIFT the day after the storm hit. He began recruiting help by posting to Facebook a list of items those affected really needed. From there he created a branded website www.siftny.com to help his message reach an even wider audience.
His mother says this helping-spirit is nothing new for her son. Even since he was a youngster, Christian has carried the attitude of a first responder. At the first sign of an incident, he loves being the first person to help correct the situation. In Christian’s words, “I love helping people. It’s what I have to do.”
Credit: SI Live