Since Hurricane Sandy destroyed her home in Staten Island two weeks ago, Phyllis Puglia has spent every day returning to the area where she used to live to look for pieces of her previous life.
The Rock Center with Brian WIlliams caught up with Puglia a couple times to help her tell her story. She lived on Staten Island with her husband for the past 25 years. The hurricane destroyed their home scattering everything inside miles away from the original location.
Hundreds of houses were destroyed by a storm with surges of water 16 feet high crashing 14 blocks inland. Puglia's just one of the estimated 40,000 newly homeless in New York because of the hurricane.
Puglia told NBC two weeks ago that she found her mother's wedding photo, an antique sewing machine, and some framed pictures nearly a mile away from her house. She's still searching for her mother's wedding ring, her most cherished possession.
Puglia is learning to rely on the kindness of family, friends, and even strangers. Her firefighter son brought a group of coworkers from his station house to help Puglia clean up one day. Her cousin, Josetta Maurer, started a crowdfunding page on GoFundMe to help her raise money.
Maurer set a goal of $15,000 knowing she wouldn't get enough to rebuild an entire house - She simply wanted to help her cousing live a normal life once insurance and FEMA can get her house rebuilt.
Puglia initially told her family not to setup a crowdfunding page. Created anyway, the crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly $45,000 in the last two weeks from donations from family, friends, and even strangers who want to help out somehow.
Puglia told NBC she "dreams that her neighborhood will one day rebuild."
You can see the full story at NBCNews.com.