Amy Headrick has no connection to Island Park, Long Island yet.
But the Garden City firefighter soon will after a meaningful, if non-traditional, Christmas in New York.
"I just decided this year that I wanted to do something to give back,'' said Headrick, "and not have to worry about getting gifts for Christmas.''
Headrick is collecting surplus firefighting equipment from local companies to bring up to one of the many New York departments that lost most of their gear in Superstorm Sandy.
She will spend vacation time over the holiday making the delivery to Island Park.
"I'm hoping to pick up stuff along the way,'' said Headrick, who will be stopping at fire stations throughout her 900-mile drive. "That way, we can make this sort of a national effort.
It's quite a close family,'' added Garden City Fire Chief James Crosby. "If you're a firefighter, it doesn't matter where you are, there's no territorial stuff in firefighting.''
The Garden City Fire Department has gotten Headrick's effort started by donating extra fire hoses.
But she says some New York fire stations lost everything needed to fight a fire to Sandy.
"Some of them need everything,'' said Headrick. "They need fire hoses, batteries, flash lights, helmets, hoods, personal protection equipment.''
Headrick plans to leave the Sunday before Christmas. And while she'll deliver what she collects to firefighters, she'll really be helping people and communities.
"Right now it's hurting the citizens,'' said Chief Crosby. "Because they can't help and we're hoping to be able to help them get back to helping citizens.''
"I'm hoping to raise awareness as well,'' added Headrick. "People don't realize the destruction up there. Over 5,00 homes were destroyed and once it's out of the news you don't think about it as much.''