Red Cross Volunteers Come Far to Help NJ Sandy Survivors

Janet Hoppe
I put myself in their situation and ask myself: What else would I need if I were in their shoes?

Janet Hoppe is motivated to help people and give back to the community, no matter where that community may be. The Alaska resident and U.S. Forestry employee has volunteered and worked in diverse communities across the country, and now the New Jersey and New York region has become her home away from home.

Now, about 100 days from Sandy’s landfall, Hoppe is on her third Red Cross deployment for Hurricane Sandy recovery, and is in North Brunswick, N.J., serving as a client case reviewer. Each case is handled on an individual basis as she works with her team to fill client needs.

Her approach to helping people: “I put myself in their situation and ask myself: What else would I need if I were in their shoes?”

Hoppe’s work with the Red Cross on Sandy started October 27, 2012, two days before Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, when she flew into Baltimore, Md., and joined a team of volunteers pre-positioned before the storm.

As Sandy moved north, Hoppe was relocated to New Jersey and joined a Red Cross shelter team. Partnering with a community organization, the Red Cross helped shelter people who had lost power in their homes. The interesting residents, community volunteers and the team members she worked with all contributed to making Hoppe’s first Red Cross deployment a meaningful experience.

In early December, Hoppe was deployed to New York and was assigned to a shelter in Nassau County. As fewer people began staying in the shelter, she was reassigned to the Jamaica-Queens and Rockaway areas, where she helped deliver supplies.

Red Cross and Recovery

The Red Cross longer-term recovery efforts for people affected by Sandy have already started, and a big part will include working one-on-one with families who need some extra help making recovery plans and accessing available resources. Some need help finding child care, or understanding insurance paperwork. Red Cross case workers will help guide them through the recovery process.

As of January 31, the Red Cross had spent or made commitments to spend an estimated $145 million, more than half the total raised for Sandy. The remaining Sandy donations will be used to help individuals and communities affected by this storm with their long-term needs.

You can read a three-month update on the Red Cross response to Sandy, as well as get more information on Red Cross emergency relief and recovery for this disaster, at www.redcross.org/sandy-response.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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