Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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Volunteers Aid Sandy Victims In Breezy Point

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Volunteers in Queens say they are dedicated to lending a hand to Hurricane Sandy victims in one of the hardest hit corners of the city. NY1's Natasha Ghoneim filed the following report.

While volunteers ripped the insulation from the walls of their Breezy Point home, the Scarinos were experiencing deja vu.

Two years ago, their summer escape was torn down to the studs during a massive renovation project.

"So we're doing it again," said Marianne Scarino. "We're experienced."

Day in and day out, in Breezy Point and in other neighborhoods now known for the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Sandy, the recovery continues. It's measured in the waterlogged belongings that form a wall around the homes they came from. It's measured by the stripping down to the frames to purge the mold. And it's measured in sheer exhaustion.

"We're used to hard work," Marianne Scarino said. "It's just that we're getting old and it gets harder."

For the first time in three weeks, the Scarinos received help from volunteers from Operation Blessing International. What they accomplished in a short amount of time saved the couple half a day's work.

"We live in New York City. We're trying to solve these great huge problems but there are people here in our backyard who just need a helping hand," said Annie Liang, a volunteer. "I just felt like it should matter to us."

"Not one individual can rebuild a community, but if we unify and work together, we can take over Breezy Point and make it a completely better place for these individuals and to give them the hope for the future," said Jennifer Wakefield of Operation Blessing International.

The Scarinos are aware of the risks lurking in the future.

"It's a scary thought," Marianne Scarino said. "The planet is changing and the sand bar is moving. We have to think about what we're going to do."

But they can't or won't think that far ahead. For now, they and their neighbors are preoccupied with rebuilding as quickly as possible.

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