Pia Toscano helps Howard Beach recover

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From 3,000 miles away, Pia Toscano watched and worried.

The “American Idol” finalist, now living in Los Angeles, saw news coverage of the destruction Sandy wreaked on Queens, and hoped and prayed that her family and friends in Howard Beach were safe, especially since she couldn’t get in touch with them.

“I grew up there, my whole family lives there,” she told The Courier. “It’s heartbreaking to see them go through this.”

And though she said her family was lucky, suffering only limited damage and nearly two weeks with no power, photos of Sandy’s wrath made her feel “helpless.”

So she came back home to pitch in.

On Tuesday, November 13, Toscano was at Father Dooley Hall, which has become a collection/donation site, to bring food, supplies – and a warm smile.

“It is beautiful to see the community come together to help out,” she said. “There is clothing, supplies, people are cooking. I wish there was more I could do. I really wanted to boost morale.”

Of the long road to recovery, Toscano is touched by everyone’s efforts and encourages the good will to keep coming.

“I urge everyone to keep a smile on their face and keep donating,” she said. “Anything is appreciated.”

She herself will continue to give back to those whose lives were touched by Sandy – even from across the country.

“I am releasing a song I recorded with Jared Lee [fellow “American Idol” alum], a cover of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You,’ and all proceeds will go to Sandy victims.”

To purchase the song click here.