Red Cross Sandy recovery work continues with client assistance to families across New Jersey. Suzanne McDonnell is a divorced mom who lives with her two children, a daughter 12 and a son, 13 in Ocean Gate NJ just one block from the Ocean. Last year, when Sandy blew into NJ, Suzanne’s home sustained 3 feet of water, debris and mud. She and her children had evacuated their home and stayed with a family friend until the storm passed. After the storm FEMA provided hotel assistance for her family.
An American Red Cross Case Manager, Melissa Smolowitz called Suzanne while she was at the hotel to help her with getting back into her home. Suzanne’s home had extensive damages throughout. Red Cross was able to provide assistance for replacement of her walls, floor, carpets and furniture. Suzanne and Melissa stayed in touch weekly and sometimes more on the progress of Suzanne’s case. “I tried to keep Suzanne up to date and let her know what was going on. Even if I didn’t have much to share, I still called to check in.” said Melissa.
Recently, months after her initial assistance, Suzanne had a repair to her home go awry, causing damage again. Suzanne called Red Cross to request assistance. Melissa was happy to hear from Suzanne. An appointment was made for Suzanne and Melissa to meet and Red Cross was able to provide some much needed assistance. Gift Cards were presented to Suzanne by Melissa and her family is well on their way to living in their home again. Suzanne was very pleased that Red Cross was able to further assist her again as a Sandy Survivor. “I don’t know where I would be, I wouldn’t be on my way back into my home without the American Red Cross and Melissa.” said Suzanne.
American Red Cross continues its recovery services in New Jersey nearly 8 months after the storm with assistance to Sandy Survivors through commitment made by our organization and the generosity of our donors.