The following was submitted by Brick Elks Lodge 2151:
On Oct. 29th, 2012 our shore and our hearts were torn apart by Super Storm Sandy. You hear slogans like “Jersey Strong” but to understand how strong these displaced and sometimes homeless families really are, you must see for yourself. Many Brick Elks Lodge members not only saw, but are still living, the nightmare.
Has it broken them? No!
As expected many members who were not directly impacted showed up almost as soon as the waters receded willing to do anything: bail water, drag out wet carpets, tear up floors and more.
Members opened not only their hearts but also their homes and provided showers, meals, warm beds and friendship to those who were now left homeless. This, of course, is what Elks do! However, seeing those members who lost their precious belongings, their family memories, right there alongside the other volunteers was an amazing thing to witness.
The work continued. Members also took generators out to some of the hardest hit areas and provided a “comfort stations.” Here the impacted families were able to charge their cell phones, charge cordless tools, grab a hot cup of coffee, hot chocolate, donuts, hugs, and an occasional shoulder to cry on.
Member Greg Sheehan wanted to get involved in another project as the members continued to help those in need. Of course, Greg needed the help and commitment from his house chair Vinnie Sessa and other volunteers.As expected, they were willing to commit.
The Perlmutter family of Shop Rites was looking for an organization to pair with them to provide hot “early morning” breakfast sandwiches to those working to maintain order and restore infrastructure on the barrier islands. When I say early, the team of volunteers reported to the lodge each morning beginning at 3:30 a.m. to cook and wrap the sandwiche’s for delivery to the men and women protecting our barrier islands.
Local police assisted in delivering the sandwiches to the restricted areas.
To date over 3,700 sandwiches have been provided. The cooking and good works provided by the Brick Elks Lodge 2151 continues and will continue for those in need.
Brick Lodge 2151