NYC Teenager Creates A 'Silver Lining' For Sandy Survivors (Video)
Ariel Creamer was named 'White House Champion of Change' in April
"If it weren't for Sandy, I'd probably be listening to music or something. I'd probably be hanging out with my friends, going to places we like to go," she said in February.
Creamer lives in Rockaway, Queens, a neighborhood hit hard by Hurricane Sandy last year. After evacuating with her family, Creamer returned to find friends and neighbors who had lost everything. Ariel decided to help. Facebook was the best way.
She created "Survivors Silver Lining," which connects people in need from her neighborhood to donors from around the country. Since February, the page has received over 1,300 "likes" and she has helped hundreds.
After working on the project for a few months, Creamer was chosen as a "White House Champion of Change" in April. She was invited to Washington share her story with other volunteer leaders and discuss the power of social media. She was the youngest one there.
It's been almost a year since the storm, and she hasn't stopped working.
"Over the last few months a lot has been going on," she said in a recent interview.
Last spring, an article about Creamer and her organization was published in Spring Scholastic magazine -- which reaches students in grades three through six around the country. Since then, kids from all over have been helping their own communities and offering help.
"It's so surreal," she said, "I honestly never thought it would take of to this large of a scale!"
Creamer has also organized a pen pal project between Rockaway children and others around the United states. She has also spoken at a middle school in Tarrytown, NY.
More coverage of Sandy: One Year Later
Kathleen Caulderwood is a multimedia reporter who uses video to tell stories about New York City, where she lives after moving back from China in 2012. She also writes about business and international economics from time to time. Follow her @katcaulder.