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Sandy Victims Struggling Through Holidays [AUDIO]

This holiday season, thousands of people displaced by Sandy still need help getting their lives back together.

Hurricane Sandy
Kena Betancur, Getty Images

Over a year after the storm barreled through New Jersey, many homes remain uninhabitable or are left with entire floor levels gutted due to water damage. In addition, the emotional importance of smaller projects, like painting walls and refurnishing rooms, is immense.

“For the homeowner who has lost so much, every little piece that is put back together, is constructed, or is painted, brings them to tears,” said Peter Farwell, volunteer coordinator for the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group.

Farwell coordinated thousands of volunteers who are working to help county residents, and said that even during the holidays, people are still offering their time for projects.

“A lot of the work that goes on is incremental, so that we can complete one step or phase, install a floor or get their furnace working,” said Farwell.

Many people who “still aren’t there” with the completion of their recovery are frustrated, whether due to lack of funding, waiting on grants or loans, or coping with the emotional and physical stress a disaster like Sandy entails.

“I’ve heard stories from volunteers about a homeowner who tried to bear the burden of taking care of all these things on their own, a volunteer came in and all they did was paint his home, and he was in tears,” Farwell said.

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