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LI Students Impacted By Superstorm Sandy Pen Letters Of Support To Hurricane Harvey Victims

LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – You might call them love letters from Long Beach.

Hundreds of Long Island students who experienced heartbreaking loss from Superstorm Sandy are showing their support for children now recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

Long Beach High School English teacher Jeanne O'Shea is running out of room to stack all the letters students have written in the last two weeks.

She and other staff members called on students to write the letters of support to kids in Texas, who are just returning to flood-damaged schools after many lost their family homes to Harvey.

O'Shea thought she'd get a few dozen letters. Instead, more than half the middle and high school population took time to pen their support for their flood-ravaged counterparts.

"Right now, I probably have almost 1,000, but I should be getting some more," she said.

O'Shea said the letter writing campaign struck a chord with a student population that suffered similar loss from Sandy.

"Dear Harvey survivor, my name is Fiona and I am in the 11th grade at Long Beach High School," one student read. "Five years ago, I went through the same struggles you're going through now."

Her family was displaced from its Long Beach home for two years.

In his letter, 17-year-old senior Richard Lilly wrote that Texas students can count on the same help his family received after Sandy.

"What really stuck with me was how the community came together and how people who had nothing, who lost literately everything were coming together and were helping everyone out," he said.

Their teacher said she's proudest of how many of the letters remind Texas students not to lose hope.

"Writing these letters was meaningful, because it gave us a chance to reflect on what we've gone through. But it also gave us a chance to show kindness, compassion and friendship," O'Shea said.

She said she hopes to deliver the letters by Thanksgiving to deliver a message that, like Long Beach, Texas may be bruised but not broken.

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