PHOTO: St. Bernard Project and AHFAS member Julie Giebler shows AHFAS cadet Paige Huff and Roberta Pandolfo, wife of AHFAS Chief Jerry Pandolfo, how to sand sheetrock in a Union Beach home damaged by Sandy.
ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - Volunteers from the Atlantic Highlands First Aid & Safety Squad recently got their hands dirty for a good cause when they used their home repair skills to help the St. Bernard Project rebuild a Superstorm Sandy damaged residence in Union Beach, NJ.
Members spent part of Saturday, Aug. 8, sanding, applying spackle and taping sheet rock in a home that experienced flooding during Superstorm Sandy. The AHFAS was connected to the St. Bernard Project through squad member and EMT Julie Giebler, who is a SBP AmericCorps member.
“We’ve all experienced the impact of Superstorm Sandy,” said AHFAS Chief Jerry Pandolfo. “This was one small way for the members to give back. A little bit of our time went a long way in helping get a family displaced by the aftermath of the storm get back to normal living.”
SBP’s mission is to ensure that disaster-impacted communities and residents recover in an efficient and predictable manner. The organization was formed in 2006 in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, following Hurricane Katrina. The St. Bernard Project launched a division in Sea Bright in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and has been working with families in Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
“As a member of the AHFAS, it felt great to work on recovery efforts alongside my fellow first responders who already donate their time and life to helping others,” Giebler said.
Members of the AHFAS and some of their families helped with the workload. The team, which also included a member of the AHFAS Cadet organization, worked alongside staffers of the St. Bernard Project to get the first floor of the home ready for the next stage of repair. The goal is to get the family back into the home in late September.
The AHFAS is an all-volunteer EMS and rescue organization that provides around-the-clock services to the borough of Atlantic Highlands and occasionally the surrounding area. The AHFAS operates on donations from the community and the borough. For information about the AHFAS log onto www.ahfirstaid.org. For information about the SBP visit www.stbernardproject.org.
“Everyone who participated in the project walked away with a new perspective on the damage done by Sandy and what still needs to be done,” Pandolfo said.