UNION BEACH, N.J. – On Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, United Way mobilized 100 AmeriCorps volunteers to help rebuild four homes in Union Beach and Port Monmouth that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
The volunteers from across New Jersey were joined by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. and U.S. Rep. Frank J. Pallone Jr., both of whom donned a United Way Live United t-shirt and helped out with the construction at one of the Union Beach homes. The Campbell Street house, owned by a family with two children, had been severely flooded due to Superstorm Sandy. The home, which had been elevated already, was further transformed by the volunteers.
At the end of the day, the volunteers left the home with smooth walls ready for spackling and paint after having installed drywall on the home’s first floor.
“We have been witness to overwhelming generosity as week after week volunteers sign up to donate their time and muscle to help our families recover their homes and their lives,” said United Way of Monmouth County CEO Timothy Hearne. “We thank everyone who is here today honoring the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and those who have not forgotten about the devastation still felt here at the Jersey Shore.”
photo: U.S. Senator Cory Booker, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. visit site of Union Beach rebuild on MLK Day
The Union Beach project is part of the United Way Rebuild NJ project, harnessing volunteer manpower to help rebuild the Jersey Shore. Four United Ways -- Monmouth County, Ocean County, Northern New Jersey and Essex, West Hudson -- are collaborating to lead volunteer rebuilds with corporate, faith-based and student groups since March2013. Since then, more than 1,000 United Way volunteers have worked on nearly 75 houses in Sandy-affected towns situated along the Raritan and Sandy Hook bays, including in Union Beach, Keansburg, Middletown and Leonardo.
This September, United Way also partnered with AmeriCorps to establish a team of volunteer leaders who will be onsite at the rebuilds for at least one year to help guide the various volunteer groups that get involved.
“We all know this will be a long recovery and United Way is committed to being here and seeing that people’s lives are returned to normalcy,” said United Way of Northern New Jersey CEO John Franklin.
United Way is currently recruiting college students to join the United Way Alternative Spring Break program which will have college students from across the country working for the second year at the Jersey Shore during the month of March.
For more information about United Way Rebuild NJ, visit the website: www.UWMonmouth.org/Rebuild
To sign up for United Way Alternative Spring Break, visit the website: www.LiveUnited.org/ASB