As Sandy ripped through the Garden State a year ago, the American Red Cross faced significant challenges as they got set to begin their relief efforts.

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"Our own staff and volunteers were equally impacted, so it was definitely something that I don't think any of us had ever seen before," said Nancy Orlando, Regional CEO for the South Jersey region of the Red Cross.

Orlando said that nearly every county they visited had devastation with wide-spread damage impacting all around the state.

The Red Cross has been in the trenches since the storm hit, and their recovery efforts continue through the one-year anniversary.

"We had over 17,000 volunteers here from across the country to respond," Orlando explained.

They've dedicated a tremendous amount of resources in the last year, raising $308 million, while spending or committing to spend $280 million of that figure.

Housing continues to be the most urgent need, according to Orlando, as the recovery for many drags on.

"The Red Cross is working hand-in-hand with the state to find solutions for both temporary and permanent housing options," she said.

Among their most helpful initiative has been the Move-In-Assistance program, which has helped over 1300 households in New Jersey by providing $6 million in assistance. The Red Cross has also recently committed $6 million to the nine most-heavily impacted counties.

Another major concern for the relief organization is being ready for another Sandy.

"We're really concerned about having people be better prepared for any future disasters that may impact them," she said.

Read more about the Red Cross' contributions and efforts throughout the Garden State by visiting their Sandy Response Report.

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The organization helps vets secure employment, obtain affordable housing and provides transportation for medical services.  Established in 1986, Vetwork currently assists vets in Ocean, Atlantic and Monmouth Counties.  To learn more, visit the Vetwork website.

The Community Foundation of New Jersey

Founded in 1979, the Community Foundation of New Jersey supports charitable giving that is inspired by its donors, targeted at making New Jersey communities stronger.  On average, the foundation grants an average of more than $25 million each year to charitable organizations.

Recently, it made a $100,000 matching grant from its Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund to support classroom projects in communities impacted by Superstorm Sandy.  To learn more, visit the Community Foundation of New Jersey website.