“Stars of Hope” organization inspires those affected by Sandy - New York News

“Stars of Hope” organization inspires those affected by Sandy

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

East Rockaway is one of the many communities hit hard by Hurricane Sandy but thanks to some local kids colorful and inspirational artwork is brightening up the neighborhood.

A lot of people in the East Rockaway are seeing stars – hand painted ones that are dotting neighborhood streets.

"These are going to be so important for people to see driving home when they are going to check their mailboxes of empty houses," said one East Rockaway resident.

The "Stars of Hope" are meant to bring some joy to the community devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Janine Pizzariella is a member of the organization.

"Stars of Hope is an organization that comes into devastated communities to bring inspiration and color to brighten up a community after a disaster. They bring a sense of hope and acknowledgement that someone out there cares it's not just themselves dealing with disaster, but there are other people who have dealt with the same and to bring them a little hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel."

Local kids helped make one particular batch of them hit hard by the hurricane.

"Probably some people aren't back in their houses or apartments and we are coming here to show them that they should still have hope," said one young volunteer.

The organization usually partners with a school to get kids involved. First volunteers cut, sand and put a base coat of paint on the stars. They are then sent to communities to be decorated with inspirational words, messages and lots of bright colors.

"Although we were affected by the storm you got to give back."

Mary Kate Lynch contacted Stars of Hope and asked them to come to her hometown.

"There are a few that may put a tear in your eye and there are a few that make you chuckle. It's beautiful; it's art from the heart," said Lynch.

The Stars of Hope organization was started in Texas by a family whose homes were destroyed by a tornado. Their first mission was a year later, when they sent Stars to a town in Kansas nearly wiped out by an EF 5 tornado -- the strongest in tornado category.

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