Back in mid-September, I spoke briefly about the generous contribution the American Red Cross made to ensure that Rebuilding Together could continue repairing and rebuilding homes affected by Hurricane Sandy. When the American Red Cross isn’t busy supplying approximately forty percent of the nation’s blood, it’s relying on their volunteer base and the generosity of the public to ensure that they can provide support to victims of disasters. It is of no surprise how quickly they sprang into action to help those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy and are now teaming up with Rebuilding Together Bergen County on the project for Mr. Mallet.
The American Red Cross takes pride in what they do and therefore they committed early on that money donated specifically for Hurricane Sandy would be used to help those affected by it and not be allocated elsewhere. They have worked hard to spend those donations wisely and Rebuilding Together was proud to be selected to receive $2.25 million of the $10 million that has been distributed. The money from the American Red Cross, combined with money from a Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund grant, is what allows Rebuilding Together Bergen County to move forward with helping homeowners like Mr. Mallet.
It was extremely apparent that quite a bit of work was going to need to take place in the back room at Mr. Mallet’s in order to make it a safer and healthier place for him. Recently volunteers carted gravel in so, in what was originally a half floor and half dirt space, that the floor could be leveled out ensuring that in the future water wouldn’t accumulate in the room. Concrete has now been laid and that is providing a moisture barrier and ensuring that a previously half-finished room with finally have a complete floor. Since the room will no longer accumulate water, Mr. Mallet will finally be able to free himself from any worry about mold returning.
A new floor is being put in so the room, which used to only contain his furnace and water heater, will now also hold his washer and dryer. This shifting of appliances will allow Rebuilding Together Bergen County to provide Mr. Mallet with a dishwasher in his kitchen for the first time. Before the volunteers could arrive this past weekend to insulate the walls throughout his house, a contractor had to come frame the back room and a plumber installed a tub and surround in the first-floor bathroom that Mr. Mallet had just finished before the storm washed away his hard work.
Christopher C. Choi of C Cubed Enterprises, LLC has worked with Rebuilding Together Bergen County on and off since March. He is the contractor that raised the floor of the back room a little higher so the transitions between the kitchen area, back room and out the back door were are more level. “We’re eliminating the trip hazards,” Chris said. Like myself, Chris really enjoys getting to know the homeowners and I know that Rebuilding Together Bergen County appreciates all of his hard work. Rumor has it he has a great sense of humor and works well with the volunteers, so I’m excited to know the smiles are wide and often on the rebuild at Mr. Mallet’s house.