Hit by hurricane, robbed, L.I. family keeps helping others

Debbie Loesch, owner of the nonprofit Angels of Long Island in Patchogue. // Yaw Bonsu/Long Island Advocate

By Yaw Bonsu

Hurricane Ian, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the never-ending cycle of crime in the United States. All of these issues have dominated headlines across many news platforms. For local non-profit Angels of Long Island, all of those issues hit close to home.

Debbie Loesch and her mother, Marie, lost a vacation house in Fort Meyers, Fla., during Hurricane Ian recently. But it was more than simply a house — it was a happy place for Marie and her late husband.

Then, Angels of Long Island lost a day’s worth of sales after a woman intruded into the office of the non-profit. The money remained missing upon the suspect’s arrest, whose actions were caught on camera. However, a Patchogue-Medford High School student, Emily Volpe, started a GoFundMe page. It resulted in more than double the missing money being recovered.

Finally, as its efforts continue, Angels of Long Island made one of its biggest acts of kindness yet. A pair of unnamed Ukrainian refugees fled Ukraine with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Debbie decided to give them anything they wanted at Angels of Long Island…for free. And while English wasn’t the first language for these refugees, the two words they knew without hesitation were “thank you.”