The Menonites Come to the Aid of the Technologically Dependent

Posted: November 07, 2012

People have come together like never before after Hurricane Sandy’s devastation of the New Jersey Shore line. With election season in full swing, it is refreshing to see the selfless service of so many Americans. Many people in New Jersey and New York could only count on the help of their neighbors during the days following the storm. Fortunately, there have been countless stories of good Samaritans rising up to volunteer and come to the aid of others while FEMA and state emergency response teams were too overwhelmed by calls to help everyone in need.

Tony Plaster, like thousands living on the Shore, was left with heavy damage to his property. “The devastation is pretty big down here,” Plaster said over the phone nearly a week after the storm. “The winds blew through my doors from front to back.” Needless to say, there was a lot of work to be done in Plaster’s Neptune, New Jersey neighborhood.

Plaster is a job superintendent for REDCOM Design & Construction. One of his coworkers, John Cannata, was able to put him in touch with Jonathan Martin who is the Vice President of REDCOM’s steel erecting subcontractor, Brecknock Builders. “Jonathan made it his mission to make sure his resources were being used wisely,” Cannata said. “He called me and asked if I knew anyone who needed help and I knew that Tony was in trouble so I put them in touch.”

Plaster’s home has now become a base for fifty volunteers from the Weaverland Menonite Conference Church of New Holland, Pennsylvania. “They have been bringing debris out to the road and putting it into dumpsters so that the town can come by and collect it,” Plaster said. “They have also been cutting up trees, cleaning houses, pumping out basements and removing flooring.”

The volunteers have been a huge help to the Neptune community. Martin said that the volunteers have been traveling from door-to-door to see who needs assistance. “One person gets contacted on the street and the neighbors see what we are doing and then more people call,” said Martin. “We have been moving one street to the next.”

This week I asked my employees to think of ways that they helped others or intend to help others in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Any connection that you have could be useful. Use your resources! Most importantly, like Tony Plaster, never be afraid to ask for help!