PERSISTENT UNSELFISH SERVICE. This is our "Command Center" at Eatontown in the middle of NJ. We have about 6 people working here in the Family History Center. We have brought in extra computers and phones to coordinate requests for service and teams offering to give service. Stakes from all around the area arrive on Friday, Saturday or Sundays to work full days. Many of the members sleep in the chapels and work two days. People from other states and other groups have also been working hard. One survivor said how much she appreciates the help. She said, "Just seeing the volunteers out there gives me hope."
|Roger is in the vest. Sister Bjorn stands behind and the head of the volunteer effort, David, is in the blue shirt. One of the missionaries is here picking up an assignment for his team.|
FAMILY HISTORY TREASURES. Since we are using a Family History Center, we notice the walls have interesting messages. Being an enthusiastic genealogist since I was 14, I can identify with the sentiments. You may lose all your earthly possessions but still have your family forever. What a treasure!
SLIPPERY TREASURE: TRYING TO SAVE A TREASURE AND LOSING IT ANYWAY.
I met a man (I'll call him Jim) as he was sweeping sand away from the curb so that the water could drain and dry up. Jim claimed he was having an OCD moment to help bide his time while trying to figure out what to do next. Jim has an interesting story: he lives half a block from the beach in the townhouse on the right. When the warning to evacuate ahead of the storm came his wife said she didn't want to leave. She had heard that another elderly neighbor had evacuated her home, which was then looted a day before the storm. Jim's wife was concerned that the same thing could happen to their possessions so she decided to stay to protect them. Jim, pictured here, wanted to evacuate but he couldn't leave "THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE" behind so he agreed to ride out the storm together.
Somehow they got the idea that their home might be more at risk from flying tree branches, broken glass and heavy rains, so they decided to take all their valuables down to the garage, which was at ground level. They worked all day and into the evening as the storm raged and grew to hurricane strength. He said it was quite terrifying. Just as Jim was bringing down his last load of treasures, he was in the garage and the door suddenly burst apart. Water rushed into the garage and it was all he could do with his own rush of adrenalin to hang on and pull himself up the stairs. The first sensation he felt when the water came was a huge sucking feeling...like a rip tide, I suppose. He and his wife made it up to a safer level for the rest of the storm but all his treasures in the garage were lost. And yet, he can smile because he still has "the love of his life."
|There are new garage doors on all the five townhouses here.|
ANOTHER DAY. This car had its own adventure! Jim explained that the owner parked it safely in the garage. After the storm it was found inside the next door garage! It had been sucked out of one and smashed into the next. When the treasure we've coveted is destroyed, just having another day is a blessing.
|Look closely and you can see this car suffered quite a beating!|
FRIENDS WORKING TOGETHER
|The New Brunswick Ward sent a big group of workers, including some of our Institute students.|
ONE MAN'S TREASURE IS ANOTHER MAN'S TRASH. Our East Brunswick Young Single Adults (YSA) Branch members worked most of the day clearing debris from the yard of a family. The "debris" was a big deck from one of the houses across the street by the shore. Many other parts of the houses across the street also landed here.
|Our EBYSA branch members helped clear this yard.|
|Being handy with a chain saw was a necessary skill. The pieces were cut small enough to be carried to the curb.|
FILTHY LUCRE...LOST TREASURE.
|Sometimes real treasures are found. This bag contains some coins and paper money. I couldn't tell if it was foreign money or not since it was all covered with nasty mud.|
AN HONEST MAN IS A TREASURE
|The EBYSA second counselor carries the bag of money across the street to see if anyone there lost it! Notice the ocean in the background. Seems so far away and peaceful.|
|The deck is being reduced to manageable pieces.|
EDUCATION IS A TREASURE. THE SPECIAL MEMENTOS MUST GO .
|Someone's graduation bear...no longer special.|
WHAT A BLESSING TO HAVE CITY SERVICES. PEOPLE WHO WEREN'T DEVASTATED CAN HELP THROUGH THEIR CITY.
|This is the heap of trash on the curb for the city to come and haul away.|
|Just what was this? A play house?|
FRIENDS WHO MAKE YOU PROUD ARE A TREASURE.
|EBYSA Branch workers plus Sister Dixon in red on the right.|
DONATIONS TO THE RED CROSS ARE APPRECIATED!
|The Red Cross delivered free hot meals to all the volunteers and residents who needed them. Deanne is ready for food!|
KEEPSAKES BECOME MORE VALUABLE WHEN THERE ARE SO FEW OF THEM
|A few keepsakes were found and set aside for the neighbors. One woman was pleased to retrieve a wedding ring and a watch that had been stored in her bathroom vanity shelf and became lodged in a hole in the ground.|
|I wanted to save one of these but resisted. They are as contaminated as everything else.|
|A broken cookie plate and roller skate.|
|Every street near the beach looks like this. How does it feel?|
HELP AND COMPASSION. Hundreds or probably thousands of homes have been stripped like this. The floor can be difficult. The missionaries told us about one home that had 8 layers of flooring including strange linoleum and stuff glued down that was very hard to remove. Below the floors was nasty wet mud that probably contained toxic chemicals and sewer contents. This type of work was typical of what the missionaries have been doing for five-six weeks now. Everyone wore masks to help protect them from the mold that was developing.
URGING THE COMMUNITY TO MAINTAIN HOPE
LAY UP FOR YOURSELF TREASURES IN HEAVEN
YOUNG AND ENERGETIC MISSIONARIES STANDING WITH THE HOMEOWNER:
SOME HALLOWEEN TRICKS ARE NO TREAT!
Last year it was a freak snowstorm that stole Halloween. This year, Hurricane Sandy. Notice the waterline going across the sign and the number 12.
TURNING TO GOD FOR STRENGTH
|This home made the news. It defies description to imagine the force that hit it.|
I cannot imagine the trauma people must have felt when they learned that all their treasures were either lost at sea or had been contaminated in the flood and must be tossed in a pile of trash. Never the less, many victims express gratitude for their lives, their families, friends and the volunteers.
|A sign like this is a community treasure.|