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Sandy Volunteer: Monique Pilie

by Veronica Volk
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Monique Pilie, courtesy of All Hands Volunteers

In the year since Superstorm Sandy, this volunteer is still hard at work.

It’s been a year since Sandy swept the coast and left devastation in her wake, and a year since people flocked from all over the country to help those affected. Not all of those volunteers have left, and at least one has no intention of packing it in anytime soon.

Monique Pilie is originally from New Orleans, and knows what it’s like to live through a natural disaster.

“After Katrina, I wanted to do something to help out so I decided to start a nonprofit* and sort of realized my calling."

For a few years, Pilie worked to replant trees destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. When Superstorm Sandy hit, she decided to bring her nonprofit expertise to New York. Pilie now serves as the director of Project Long Island for All Hands Volunteers. Over the months, she and her fellow volunteers have shifted their focus from immediate disaster relief to repair and rebuilding.

"I feel good about the work that we’ve done and I know that we’ve helped a lot of residents and I know that we’re - every day - helping more. It’s not a race, it’s a marathon.”

For more information about Monique Pilie, All Hands Volunteers, and how to get involved – visit hands.org.

*Pilie’s nonprofit, Hike for KaTREEna, came to fruition when she quit her job and sold her house, vowing to plant a tree for every mile she hiked on the Appalachian Trail. Pilie worked to replenish the altered Louisiana landscape for five years, and though she has since left the organization, she says Hike for KaTREEna is still going strong.

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