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After Sandy: Community-minded 11-year-old helps local residents with pop-up Internet cafe

When disasters happen, people pull together, and those living along the eastern seaboard of the US caught up in the devastating destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy earlier this week are certainly proving no exception.

A perfect example of this helpful neighborliness comes from 11-year-old Lucy Walkowiak, a resident of Hoboken, situated just across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

As Sandy barreled through the region earlier in the week, the New Jersey city where Lucy lives was badly flooded, leaving many without power. Wondering how she might be able to help, the enterprising youngster – realizing that her block was one of the few in the area still with power – hit on the idea of setting up a pop-up Internet cafe and recharging station so local residents could get in touch with loved ones, find out the latest news on the post-Sandy situation, and put some juice back into their smartphones and other electronic devices. In return, she’s asking that visitors make a small donation to the Red Cross, which is in the process of helping those caught up in Monday night’s massive storm.

“Lucy does a lot of community service through her school, so this is on par with what she’s been learning,” Lucy’s dad, Steve, told the Philly Post on Thursday.

Speaking to ABC News (video below) about her initiative, Lucy said, “I was just happy to help all the people in my community without power, because so many people don’t have power and we were one of the lucky ones – we had power all through the hurricane.”

Photos of the cafe, which has been opening from 7.30am to 10pm, show plenty of grateful visitors making use of the facilities, re-establishing contact with friends and family as well as catching up with others in the local community.

[Images: Jon Bradley for the Philly Post]