NJ Early Response Team - Day 4 - Bayville

Diane Miller



Flexibility: a key word for volunteers – as is patience.  Our team has been mastering each concept, knowing that every volunteer experience has its quirky personalities, frustrating waiting periods, and challenging problems to be solved.  So when any one of us volunteers again, there will be a whole new arena to practice flexibility and patience. 
Yesterday afternoon I got a call from Beverly Schol in the Greater New Jersey Conference Center. She is one of the people organizing disaster response at the conference level.  She thanked our team for coming and offered a job for today – about 45 minutes south of Red Bank in the community of Bayville.  She gave me a number for a contact person and suggested I call and confirm meeting her on-site at 8:30 am.  I called in the afternoon and left a message and called again at 9 in the evening with no answer. That meant we had to start out in faith, assuming we would meet up with Liz McDevitt and be in the place where we were needed.  I managed to reach Liz while we drove the Garden City Parkway this morning.  We met her at our assigned house – at 9 a.m. because she had to drop her daughter off at school.
Cecelia’s home was in a bayside community that included wetlands.  Because of the wetlands she was required to have flood insurance.  The insurance company had inspected and left instructions on what needed to be done in order to receive money to rebuild.  Liz provided us with a “to-do” list, and we began our work – tearing out tongue in groove, glued down floor board, hauling a refrigerator and hot water heater out to the curb, cleaning up the nasty stuff that had washed into the yard and woods surrounding the yard.  Hard work which had nail pullers on their knees much of the time.  Under the house was a gross smelly mix of wet insulation and muck that looked pretty deep.  We never got to the job of pulling out the insulation and ductwork.
From David Kissinger:  “A man stopped in front of the house with a red pickup asking if we had any appliances needing to be scrapped.  We answered, ‘Yes, the refrigerator, water heater, and an air conditioner.’  He thanked us.  He was collecting scrap for money to support his family.  While we were helping him take the water heater to the street,another man stopped in front of the house in a U-haul and helped the first man load up the appliances.  Then he offered the guy a deal.  He’d pay him to come to his house and help him remove his appliances because his wife couldn’t help him lift them up.  The pick-up man stopped in to thank us and told us that he was going to help the other man load his appliances, but wouldn’t accept any pay for helping – Because everyone needs to help each other.”

We’ve eaten our last supper together laughing and joking because we know each other pretty well now.  Everyone pitches in to pull nails or wash dishes or pick up yard trash.  This has been a great team of volunteers… 


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