I was so excited to move back into my apartment in Sea Bright on Thursday night. As I pulled into the driveway, I noticed a few things along the curb, but didn’t think too much of it. When I woke up on Friday morning, I took a drive through town before work and was amazed by what I saw. All of Ocean Avenue, yard after yard, had entire households ruined out on the curb for pick-up. Downtown looked like a ghost town, with all of the small businesses boarded up. The National Guard set up “Tent City” with supplies, food and tools for residents and business owners at the town firehouse. The firehouse has become a mess hall, filled with people waiting in line for a hot meal.
Despite the devastation, the energy is incredible. Residents are sad, but the sense of community is amazing. Everyone is helping one another; we are all neighbors. Like the Bruce Springsteen song, we “take care of our own.”
In that spirit, a well-organized volunteer effort has been established. Home and business owners come down to Borough Hall to fill out Task Request forms, so that volunteers can be sent to their homes to help with clean up. Then, when volunteers come down, they are given an assignment by one of the volunteer coordinators who has reviewed the requests. The organic, grassroots volunteer movement is definitely the best way to go. As Bunker Roy says, “listen to the people on the ground. They have all the solutions in the world.” I helped out this past weekend and look forward to going back every weekend for a long time, to help Sea Bright rise from the storm.
To volunteer in Sea Bright:
- Come to Borough Hall, 1167 Ocean Avenue, Sea Bright
- Volunteer coordinators are there every day from 9 AM – 5 PM
- Parking in town is limited, but available at Holy Cross School in Rumson (corner of Rumson Road and Ward Avenue)
- Be prepared for both indoor and outdoor work; wear gloves, dress for the weather
For Residents/Business Owners in Need of Help:
- Fill out a Task Request Form at Borough Hall, Rumson Post Office, or Bingham Hall
- Or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with name, address, phone, task needed, time frame for when you need assistance; please put “resident” in the subject line
- Residents must be present with volunteers at home/business
To Donate to Help Sea Bright:
- Not accepting clothing at this time.
- Make a donation to the grassroots nonprofit Sea Bright Rising. Sea Bright Rising is also on Facebook and Twitter.