4 years after Sandy, NJ volunteers pay it forward by helping flooded Louisiana
Red Cross sent 14 volunteers from New Jersey to Louisiana to help the relief efforts there following the worst natural disaster in the United States since superstorm Sandy.
At least 13 people have died and 40,000 homes have been destroyed in the Gulf Coast state since last week.
“Volunteers from here in New Jersey are proudly serving alongside local volunteers in Louisiana where they continue to provide help and hope to families who have lost their homes due to unprecedented flooding,” Ana Montero, regional CEO for the American Red Cross New Jersey Region.
Thousands are without power in hot and humid conditions. Even unluckier are those who lost their homes and remain in shelters following some of the heaviest rain ever to fall in the Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas.
New Jersey Red Cross spokeswoman Diane Concannon says simple "compassion" motivates the volunteers.
"There's so many good people in New Jersey. We see it everyday. They just want to help people in situations like this," she said.
She said the volunteers are a mix of brand new people who saw how volunteers came in to help New Jersey during Sandy or they just find it rewarding to help others.
"It's pretty amazing. A lot of really good people doing great work," Concannon said.
Fourteen Red Crossers from New Jersey are among those assisting with relief efforts in Louisiana.
Kathy Wong, of Florham Park, serves as a shelter supervisor; Mary Sterling, of Freehold, Linda Kolman, of Ventnor City, Carrie McIntosh, of Pennsville, and Ali Mansour, of the Somerset section of Franklin, are also working at shelters there.
Lynn Paul, of Voorhees, Barry Verbel, of the Somerset section of Franklin, Christopher Cummings, of the Glendora section of Gloucester Township, and George Jinks, of West Orange, are helping with feeding services.
Jodi Bocco, of West Long Branch, is providing disaster mental health services; Paul Gass, of Springfield, is assisting with disaster assessment; Debra Lavender, of Little Egg Harbor, is supporting health services; Kathleen Maher, of Ocean Township, is lending a hand with disaster technology; and Mary Brown, of Manville, will be supporting the operation.
Several additional volunteers are supporting the relief efforts remotely from New Jersey.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com