Federal Workers Volunteer Time for Sandy Victims [AUDIO]
A contingent of Homeland Security workers and Red Cross volunteers from the Washington D.C./Virginia area will be heading to the Garden State for a week, on their own dime, to help rebuild Sandy-battered houses.
Department of Homeland Security analyst Ken Sullivan said it's part of a program that allows federal workers 40 hours of volunteer time a year to help others. He said he reached out to Gov. Chris Christie's office, which in turn connected them with a number of agencies through a conference call. That got the ball rolling.
"I had people from the call contact me and say, 'Well, we could certainly use the help in Toms River and the surrounding areas,' and then another group mentioned that they could help in terms of sheltering us," Sullivan said.
The group will be working with nonprofit organization Jersey Cares in and around Toms River during the week of May 18 to May 24.
"There'll be opportunity to do some demolition work in some homes and also to do some reconstruction in terms of drywall and painting," Sullivan said.
The skill level of the volunteers is also not an issue because according to Sullivan, they will be trained by team leaders, with the help of Jersey Cares, to do certain tasks.
Sullivan said when he found out about the federal worker volunteer program and put the word out about opportunities, he said the response was overwhelming, with 103 people expressing interest. Because of limited accommodation space they can only take 55, so he's taking volunteers on a first come, first served basis.
For more information about how you can help the group when it comes to New Jersey, reach out to Jersey Cares by clicking here.