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Cuomo launches ‘Labor for your Neighbor’ initiative

Volunteer effort will help with storm recovery

— Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Friday, Sept. 2 launched “Labor for your Neighbor,” a Labor Day weekend effort to tap into the good neighbor instincts of New Yorkers and rally volunteers to pitch in on local cleanups of public and private property following the devastation of Hurricane Irene.

The governor said he and members of his family will join New Yorkers who turn out to help their neighbors, bringing tools, elbow grease and volunteers to the Schoharie Valley, Catskills and North Country, where the storm brought extensive damage. The governor has visited each of these regions to assess damage since the storm hit. Clean-ups will take place on Sunday and Monday. Volunteers will be safely shuttled into villages needing assistance, and provided appropriate supervision and equipment.

“In village after village and town after town, we have witnessed the wonderful spirit of New Yorkers turning out to help others in need,” said Cuomo. “Grocers have thrown open their doors and given away all their food. Customers have come out to clean up local businesses and return them to operation. Neighbors have shared food, clothing and shelter. Through ‘Labor for your Neighbor,’ we want to stimulate even more neighbor-to-neighbor help on this long holiday weekend. We've given it a name, but there is no copyright on the kindness of friends and neighbors. While government at all levels organizes resources for the great leaps toward full recovery, individual New Yorkers can, with just a few hours of work, help their neighbors take small steps toward normalcy. As an elderly woman in Prattsville told us this week, even someone to help get the mud out of her basement would give her the hope for a new start.”

Cuomo said that major corporations have already responded to his requests for support of “Labor for your Neighbor.” Home Depot, WalMart and other companies and suppliers will supply cleaning pails, mops, shovels, rakes cleaning supplies, food, water and other equipment.

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