During Superstorm Sandy, Vivian Moy and her family were staying in Queens when she heard an overnight Red Cross shelter was being set up at Paul D. Schreiber High School.
Immediately, she said goodbye to her family and returned to Port Washington to help set up the shelter, she said.
“I remember sitting there with the lights on, a full stomach, watching television with full access to the Internet,” Moy said. “I said to myself, I can’t just sit here doing nothing when so many people are out of power, so I said goodbye to my family.”
Moy didn’t see her family for a week, because she was helping with the shelter, she said.
Her experience with Sandy, she said, was one reason she and others formed the Port Washington Crisis Relief Team, which helps Port residents in the event of a disaster — one of the eight organizations she volunteers with.
Moy, who has lived in Port Washington for 18 years, said once her youngest of three sons left Manorhaven Elementary School, she had the opportunity to branch out more and contribute to the community.
Moy volunteered for the Manorhaven PTA and other school committees during her sons’ time at the school, principal Bonnie Cohen said.
“When Vivian’s last son left the school, I didn’t know how we’d survive,” Cohen said. “But she’s stayed involved in many ways.”
“I love how Port is a close-knit town where we are all somehow connected to one another,” Moy said. “All the organizations I volunteer for, as well as where I work, are integral parts of what makes Port such a vibrant community.”
As a result of her work with the Port Washington Crisis Relief Team, Moy began volunteering with the American Red Cross, undergoing shelter training and overseeing blood drives in Port Washington, she said.
Moy volunteers for the Red Cross’ home fire campaign on Long Island and in New York City, providing people with fire safety education and installing free smoke alarms to homes in need.
Joe Spaccarelli, the director for the Red Cross’ “Get Alarmed” program, said he admires Moy’s energy and her passion for volunteering and connecting people.
“I call her the connector,” Spaccarelli said. “She has a real unique ability to connect people in such a small town, because she’s a tremendous people’s person, even though she’s a self-proclaimed introvert.”
Moy is the author liaison at the Dolphin Bookshop & Cafe, arranging events with local authors.
“I am especially proud of my job at the Dolphin,” Moy said. “I’m helping to increase literacy among students here in Port by bringing fabulous authors to town.”
While working at the Dolphin allows Moy to work closely with children and local authors, she also volunteers at the Port Washington Public Library, sitting on the planning committee for the total renovation of the children’s room.
“I was proud to be part of the process,” Moy said.
Moy’s husband, Stephen, said “when there’s a crisis, she’s the first one there.”
Moy has three sons: Jon, 22, Ben, 20, and Jacob, 15.
“Her heart for people is quickly rubbing off on our three sons,” Stephen said. “It’s rubbed off on me. She’s a great wife and we love it here in Port Washington. We love the community.”
While Moy has only one son left in the Port Washington school district, she still volunteers her time with the Ed. Foundation, helping raise money for innovative school-wide programs.
“Vivian Moy is the greatest kind of person to work with,” said Karen Sloan, school board president and vice president of development at the Ed. Foundation. “You never have to ask her twice because she is done before you finish your sentence. We are lucky to have her help at the Ed. Foundation, in the schools and throughout our community.”
Moy said she doesn’t want to slow down her volunteering anytime soon, but her ultimate goal is to travel abroad and volunteer in another country.
“My dream is to volunteer overseas with the Red Cross,” she said. “I have friends who have gone on international deployments, and I would love to do that and be able to help people in new places.”
Moy said she is part of a volunteering circle in Port Washington and it’s “gratifying to be in the company like-minded individuals.”
“I can’t think of a better way to spend my free time than in the service of others,” she said. “It gives me joy and peace.”