Posted at: 12/24/2012 6:41 PM
Updated at: 12/24/2012 10:02 PM
By: Benita Zahn
Imagine for a moment, this is what your neighborhood looks like. And now consider that you could visit to help rebuild but had to find another place to live for weeks, months, even a year -- and that you had to find a way to make the holidays merry and bright for your family.
"But we will have Christmas where we are but it won't be Christmas like we usually have."
Thanks to Sandy, Laine Dripchak lost her home, her car and her job- because the employer's building was destroyed in the storm. These days she volunteers at a support site near her Breezy Point home .. she helps others get the supplies and food they need to keep going and rebuild.
Nothing's easy. Andy Vogel retired from teaching in New York City in July .. he comes to the center to get pointers on how to clean up the mess Sandy left behind.
"We all have mold problems and everything. I can't, I have no water, I have no, no utilities at all. So I've got to come to a place like this where I can at leas clean my hands, get some things to work with. "
And like many, Andy and his wife are renting an apartment for the time being and paying their breezy point mortgage. So when this center is filled with donations, it helps ease the burden. Joe Moran echoes that sentiment. He's rebuilding from scratch, but returns regularly to Breezy point to help his neighbors. His home literally went up in smoke when fire, after the storm, incinerated more than 100 homes in that beach front community.
"It's ah, devastating, It reminds me of something out of, like, civil war Atlanta. The devastation is unbelievable."
But he and his family are safe. Like the others we met, they're all thankful for that, deeply appreciative of the donations and support they've received and continue to get and look forward to happier times.
Just ask Laini "There's always next year."