Nightly News | November 20, 2012
>>> finally tonight, if you come visit us here in new york city over the holidays, you'll likely see just one of two cities. manhattan is glittering and bustling, the stores are packed and the tree out back is up. drive toward the coast, to the places on the water that were ruined by the storm three weeks ago, and you'll find that life has largely stood still. the good news, most people are finding a way to help their neighbors. that includes the rockaways on the coast of the south of here where a group of men all local dads who call themselves the gray beards are making a difference. their story tonight from nbc's katy tur.
>> reporter: across the bay from the brightly lit new york city skyline, a donated generator powers a meeting of the gray beards.
>> knocking on every door is not impossible.
>> reporter: this home grown charity is plotting a rockaway comeback.
>> we have to remind people, we're all in the same boat.
>> the group of 180 firefighters, cops, executives and lawyers are the guys who make new york city work. keep things safe, and since 9/11, the guys who have made it their duty, even while off duty to help. the man who answered the call for help need help themselves. nearly every one of these guys lost something in the storm. some, everything.
>> i'm not the type of person who's ever going to ask for anything. nor would anybody else in this community. sometimes it's necessary.
>> three weeks later, blackened streets, skeletons of homes and trash as far as the eye can see are still the norm here at rockaway. calling mercer is minutes away from the first hot shower she's had in her house since sandy. all because she knows this guy, literally named guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy.
>> now we're going to have heat for thanksgiving, which is awesome.
>> reporter: 100 grand you've raised?
>> so far, we'd like to add a couple zeros on to that to make a difference.
>> reporter: the money goes to those who are suffering here. just one look at a ripped off wall, exposing a still made bed.
>> i'm known as the emotional guy in the neighborhood. i love this neighborhood. the water may have washed away a lot, but for them to live and work in a place like this will always be paradise. katy tur, nbc news, new york.