It’s not too late to lend a hand to help clean up from Hurricane Sandy.
“We’re still recruiting for volunteers on a daily basis,” says Stacy Orden, who coordinates the Bonim Builders program for the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey.
Requirements: A willingness to roll up your sleeves and get down and dirty. (And be 16 years old or older).
Email Orden at email@example.com; give her 24 hours advance notice about when you want to volunteer, and she’ll connect you with the Nechama disaster relief organization, which is working six days a week.
Not only are there individual volunteers, groups have been volunteering as well.
On Monday, Federation President David Goodman and other members of the federation’s “Klene Up Krew,” who had traveled to New Orleans to help rebuild the city, worked with Nechama in Hoboken.
The men’s club at Temple Emanu-El of Closter was one group that volunteered, as have some local Jewish day schools, said Robert Hyman, director of community planning at the federation.
Overall, Hyman said, the post-Sandy relief “is concluding the emergency phase, and transitioning to the intermediate and long-term recovery phase.”
The federation was able to close the books on one piece of the emergency response with its food drive, which collected three truckloads of nonperishable food and supplies.
This enabled the Jewish Family Service agencies to replenish their food pantries; their stocks had been cleaned out by the emergency need of seniors and others who lost their refrigerated and frozen food to the storm’s power outages.
In addition, the federation distributed food to the Center for Food Action in Saddlebrook, which has been serving the area’s hardest-hit towns, Moonachie and Little Ferry.
And there was enough left over still to fill a classroom at the Teaneck Jewish Center, where the surplus material will be stored until needed by the Jewish Family Services.
Meanwhile, Hyman said, home cleanup will continue for the foreseeable future. “You first have to substantially clean out and prep the existing structure for follow-up repair and building.”