Volunteers, members of Congress help Sandy victims - KMSP-TV

Volunteers, members of Congress help Sandy victims

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Members of Congress joined Rep. Michael Grimm (R-SI) in Staten Island to participate with clean-up efforts and home repairs as part of the Hurricane Sandy recovery on Saturday.  

The congressional members Austin Scott of Georgia and his wife, Scott Garrett of New Jersey and Renee Ellmers of North Carolina met other staff member volunteering at 1676 Hylan Boulevard at 9:00 a.m. on Staten Island. 

The event is planned in conjunction with All Hands Volunteers. 

Thousands of residents living in states on the Northeast are now waiting for some $60 billion President Obama has requested to arrive.

Meanwhile in Hoboken, resident Robert Stanford spent this Saturday in his basement with some new friends. 

More than a dozen volunteers helping him clear away water logged debris, the 30-year-old homeowner received a check from FEMA to replace a boiler --- he's not sure what his insurance will cover. 

With the potential of mold growing inside his home, he couldn't wait any longer to get this work done. 

"It was the worst flooding I've ever seen," said Stanford. 

On this day -- AmeriCorps and volunteers from Clean Ocean Action showed up to help. 

"Those that were impacted from the storm, it's going to be a long haul. If we have volunteers to help it's going to go faster," said Tavia Danch of Clean Ocean Action. 

The city of Hoboken has been busy identifying homeowners like Stanford, overwhelmed with the prospect of gutting their own homes. 

Carly Ringer is helping coordinate several volunteer groups.

"Our biggest challenge is we have a lot of volunteers and we know a lot of people need help," said Ringer. "We need people to come to us and tell us and we'll come help you." 

Another similar spirit of volunteerism took place on the hard hit borough of Staten Island. Congressman Michael Grimm, who was helping homeowners with repairs, was joined by other elected leaders from out of state. 

"That's what this is about, finding those that slipped through the cracks getting help that the city of state couldn't get them," said Rep. Grimm. 

"The prayers are coming from North Carolina again. We know how devastating it can be – at the sense of loss that so many are feeling right now," said Congresswoman Renee Ellmers. 

For homeowners like Stanford, it's the relief dollars elected officials have also promised to rebuild the region -- that may be most comforting 

"I'm not getting all the assistance I can get, but I'm thankful for the volunteers," said Stanford

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