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Three men and a truck get relief supplies from New York to Texas

Steven Hadt | Oct 18, 2017

The supplies will help in the recovery from the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey Steve Sirgiovanni, Mike Malark, Brad McKenzie and Joe Aiello stand among the boxes of supplies donated in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Sirgiovanni, Malark and Aiello collected supplies throughout the Kiwanis New York District and delivered them to McKenzie in Pasadena, Texas. Photo provided by the city of Pasadena, Texas.

The three former governors unhatched the doors and swung them open. Diapers, school supplies and food, all still in place—expertly packed from front to back, ceiling to floor of a 53-foot trailer. The delivery from the Kiwanis New York District arrived just in time to refill one of the distribution points set up by the Texas-Oklahoma District to help after Hurricane Harvey.

Mike Malark, Joe Aiello and Steve Sirgiovanni guided the 18-wheeler from New York to Pasadena, Texas. They spent six weeks collecting donations from every corner of their district 1,600 miles away. They received money and goods from the entire Kiwanis family of clubs.

Members of the New York District donated food and supplies Photo provided by the city of Pasadena, Texas."Five years ago during Superstorm Sandy, I had water in my house and was homeless for two months," said Sirgiovanni, 2016-17 New York District governor. "This is my way of paying it forward."

Sirgiovanni and the rest waited to make the delivery to Texas. They knew from their experience in 2012 when Superstorm Sandy destroyed communities along the Atlantic Coast of New York and New Jersey that there would be a rush of supplies and donations right away. But as the public's attention turned away from the devastation, the donations would dry up even though the need remained.

"We waited because FEMA, the Red Cross—everybody is coming in the beginning," said Malark, 2010–11 New York District governor. "Now is the time people are looking for help."

Just hours after the three men and a truck arrived, the Kiwanians knew they had made the right decision. A woman came in looking for water, but left with a carload of food.
"You need to stop and remember why you joined (Kiwanis)," said Malark. "I joined to help people. That's what Kiwanis is all about."

"I saw the devastation and we needed to act as a Kiwanis family," said Joe Aiello, 2013–14 New York District governor. "We needed to be here to support other Kiwanians and those who are in need."

The supplies were donated to help families recover from Hurricane Harvey Photo provided by the city of Pasadena, Texas.

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