Groups spearheaded by the Lacey United Methodist Church have emerged for those in need of home repairs following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.
On Wave Drive off of Sunset Boulevard, a group came across a home with water damage in the garage. Agencies had turned the job down.
“It was wet. Considering what everyone else went through, we were lucky. We lost very little,” said Carol, who declined to provide her last name. Her 98-year-old mother lives in the home and evacuated on Friday morning.
“It’s incredible. I’m actually overwhelmed,” she said of the group’s help.
The garage contained water, mud and some seaweed, she said, and carried a stench she feared would last.
While Carol was discussing the job with an agency, the group approached her home and offered to help.
“This has been wonderful,” she said. “They’re doing great stuff. I’m in awe that they’re doing this.”
The team cleared out the garage, cleared it of the salt water from the Barnegat Bay and cleaned it with a bleach solution.
This group from the United Methodist Church started at the end of Sunrise Boulevard, working their way up.
“As you go down, it gets worse,” Peter Cirina said.
The group has been cleaning mud off driveways and taking carpets out of homes, he said.
But Carol’s job was more “extensive” than the others, he said.
The walls contained stains from the water.
Before going out to work on the homes, volunteers received brief training from Pastor Linda Applegate and Greg Edgecomb who had received lessons in emergency response.
“I like giving back to the community,” he said.
Laura Iden is not a member of the church but wanted to volunteer. She has a friend who witnessed the rising water levels during the storm and her parents were severely impacted by Hurricane Irene.
“They’re still recovering. I understand what it does to a family. It’s a long road,” she said.
There’s strength in numbers, she said.
“I wanted to help these people,” she said. “We just want to do what we can.”