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Volunteers Remain Resolute In Helping NJ Sandy Victims Recover

Volunteer groups help Sandy victims in Union Beach. (credit: CBS 2)

Volunteer groups help Sandy victims in Union Beach. (credit: CBS 2)

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Superstorm Sandy

UNION BEACH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Months after Hurricane Sandy devastated lives across our area, many volunteers are not giving up on the victims of the natural disaster.

They said they’re staying until the job is done.

Superstorm Sandy leveled homes in Union Beach, leaving many homeless. For them, the disaster recovery center in town has become a place to pick up essentials.

Manuel Gonzalez’ home was just demolished.

“I am renting a house for $2,500, which twice my mortgage, down the street from my mom and I had boiler fire there,” Gonzalez told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan on Friday.

The center is run by volunteers, who continue coming to the hard-hit town from across the state even months after Sandy.

“Our mission is to just help people here in Union Beach really rebuild, get back to some normalcy in their life,” said Carl Williamson of the Gateway Church of Christ.

For Steven Chandler, there is no normalcy, but he’s thankful volunteer Patty Bray-Thompson, with an organization called RAINE (Reaching All in Need Everyday), has been there for his family.

“They came in and took charge and told me ‘it’s okay,'” Chandler said.

“If I wasn’t here, they would have nobody else to be their advocate. For them to live like this is a sin,” Bray-Thompson said.

There are also volunteers like Elam Fischer with Christian Aid Ministries, which plans on re-doing Chandler’s flood-ravaged kitchen. Fischer’s organization has already repaired 37 homes.

“Basically how we work is if the homeowner can provide the material, we provide free labor,” Fischer said.

“I won’t give up on them,” Bray-Thompson said, referring to the storm victims.

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