ymca sandyPhoto - Y volunteers join the United Way of Monmouth County in helping to rebuild homes in Union Beach impacted by Superstorm Sandy.

SHREWSBURY, NJ – From rebuilding homes to rebuilding lives, The Community YMCA continues to offer a wide variety of support to Monmouth County families affected by the devastation of Superstorm Sandy nearly one year ago.  

The Community YMCA President & CEO Rhonda Anderson and more than 30 Y employees and volunteers rolled up their sleeves yesterday to help the United Way of Monmouth County in their rebuilding efforts in Union Beach.

“The Y is dedicated to helping families in our community continue to recover from the tragedy of Superstorm Sandy,” said Rhonda Anderson, President and CEO of The Community YMCA.  ”We’re proud to assist the United Way in getting families back into their homes.”

The Y helped two homeowners in Union Beach yesterday, including Denise Love, who lost everything in the storm. Love, her two sons and two dogs have been living in a small mobile home on their property. The team of Y volunteers assisted with the demolition of the storm-damaged home, moving her family one step closer toward rebuilding a home.

“It means a lot to have the Y here to help,” Love said.

The Y is assisting Sandy victims in many ways, Anderson said.

Support Services at Bayshore Family Success Center

In June, the Y opened the Bayshore Family Success Center, which is temporarily housed in the Union Beach Memorial Library, to connect area families with free resources and support. The center is open to all families in the Bayshore communities of Atlantic Highlands, Belford, Highlands, Keansburg, Keyport, Leonardo and Union Beach. 

Free Counseling Services

Children, adults and families directly affected by Superstorm Sandy and still struggling with post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression brought on by the storm may receive free counseling services from Y professionals. The “Intensive In-Community Therapeutic Services” are made possible by a grant from the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.

Support for Volunteer Groups

The Y has also welcomed volunteers and mission groups from all over the country, who’ve aided in the relief efforts. More than 400 Sandy volunteers have passed through The Community YMCA doors, using the Y’s showers and facilities after working long days of cleaning wreckage, repairing store fronts and homes, and rebuilding the area.

“This is my fourth summer doing mission projects.  Normally our group travels around the country to different areas in need, but this year we decided to do our annual mission trip right here in our backyard,” said Charlie Foster, a Little Silver resident and member of the United Methodist Church of Red Bank, one of the groups who used the Y’s facilities this summer.

Anderson also noted that 80 children of families impacted by the storm enjoyed two free weeks at Y summer camps this summer, thanks to support from the Robin Hood Foundation. Christine  Schaefer of Brick, whose home was severely damaged by the storm, said she is grateful that her son was able to enjoy time at Camp Zehnder. “My husband and I were extremely pleased and excited by this opportunity given to our son,” Schaefer said.

As an organization focused on strengthening community, “the Y will always be here for children and families,” Anderson said.

To learn more about the Y’s services for families impacted by Superstorm Sandy and other programs, or to support the Y’s cause, please call 732.671.5505 or visit www.TheCommunityYMCA.org.