Our first full day started right on the shore in the seaside community of Sea Bright. This is a small tight knit community of 1400 families where many people are year round residents and have been here for a good part of their lives.
We started the morning at the Sea Bright Rising offices located about a block from the ocean. Lynn Shapiro gave our team a background of what happened when Superstorm Sandy struck two years ago. Most of the town evacuated and stayed with family or friends to ride out the storm. It would be months before many of those families would even see their homes again, let alone move back in to live. It reminded several of us on the team about the same stories in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. Lynn gave us a walking tour and we saw homes completed by and being worked on by SBR. The boardwalk looks great but one block back on side streets and you’re reminded of many waiting to get back home. Lynn says there about 100 families who are still trying to get home in Sea Bright.
Our team was assigned to work in Oceanport, a small community about 10 minutes from the SBR offices. Our home was for a family of seven who ran into unforeseen problems in the rebuild process and ultimately reached out to SBR for help. This organization is affiliated with Saint Bernard Project and follows the same project management and build process that we’ve seen work so well in LA.
We all were assigned to help finish the first pass of drywall mudding and taping. We worked along side volunteers from State Farm Insurance and NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). We had a high energy group and got a lot done the time we had to work on our first day.
We finished our day by sharing a meal with about 10 people from our host church, including the pastor and his wife. This was a tradition they started as a way to say thank you to the volunteers who come here to help.
What a way to end the day! All of us are tired but eager to get back to the job site tomorrow morning.
Sea Bright Rising warehouse and offices:
Orientation with Lynn Shapirio from SBR:
One of the first houses completed by SBR:
Another project for SBR:
Our project home in Oceanport:
Endless drywall taping to done: