"Sandy Service Day" volunteers lend helping hand to Sandy recove - NBC40.net

"Sandy Service Day" volunteers lend helping hand to Sandy recovery

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It has been a long year for Brigantine residents Douglas and Teri Gragg.

"It’s a year today that I packed by bags and left and we've been displaced for almost a year," said Teri Gragg.

The Graggs experienced severe flooding during the storm and had to watch as many of their possessions were ruined. But thanks to Sandy Service Day from the organization Jersey Cares, the Graggs, who have lived in four different homes since the storm, and so many other families around New Jersey are receiving a helping hand.

"We’re so thankful and grateful for the people who are coming out to volunteer because it makes such a difference, it really, really makes such a difference,” said Gragg.

The Gragg's house is just one of 83 volunteer projects officials say are taking place around the state. The work being done in Brigantine is just a small part of a larger effort with 5000 volunteers working in five counties to help families rebuild from Hurricane Sandy. And while home repair was the focus Saturday, the mission extends even further including school repairs and beach clean ups.

"People are still not in their houses,” said Alexandra Perrette of Jersey Cares.

“The recovery efforts aren't done yet so it’s really good to see people realizing that and giving up their time for all those sorts of efforts."

And the sense of community the Graggs experienced when they assisted families in New Orleans recovering from Hurricane Katrina is now something the young volunteers from ACCC can relate to.

"You never know when your going to need other peoples help too so its always good to give back to the community," said volunteer Maria Calix.

With each raked leaf and stroke of the paintbrush, the Graggs are one step closer to returning home.

"We’re going to get there,” said Gragg.

“We're going to get home soon."

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