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It had been a pretty bleak few weeks for Matt Long. He and his wife, Mary, had their home in Breezy Point, Queens, completely ruined by Superstorm Sandy.

The two were then forced to move to a one-bedroom apartment in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, while their new home in Belle Harbor was under construction.

Knowing the Breezy Point community — a small, tight-knit group that pulls together in times of crisis — Long was more than happy to coordinate a team to help clean up the area.

He also called on a friend, who was particularly eager to help: New York Rangers alternate captain Brad Richards. Richards met Long, a former New York firefighter who suffered serious injuries after being struck by a bus in the transit strike of 2005, at Rangers’ team events and had previously offered to partner up.

With the amount of devastation incurred from Sandy — not to mention the Nor’Easter that sucker-punched the area shortly after — Long took Richards up on his offer. Richards brought along a few of his teammates — Marian Gaborik and Steve Eminger — and a crew of 10 to 12 volunteers got to work.


You can also check out this recent writeup via the New York Times on Richards entitled, A Ranger Rolls Up His Sleeves and Takes a Big Role in Hurricane Relief