The Music Connection

People make a living in all sorts of ways, and one of the problems with Sandy is that not only were homes damaged, but also businesses.


We met John in his store “The Music Connection”, that supplies all sorts of things for school music programs, band instruments, guitars, drums, etc.  His home was damaged, but worse, he nearly lost his livelihood.  He has been trying to get his store back into ship-shape for almost a year.  The problem is time, energy, and working around mountains of music “stuff” that are piled everywhere in the center of the floors so that they can get at the walls to fix them.… [Read More]

Thank you, Central Congregational Church

The four of us on the New Jersey Mission Trip thank you all @ Central Church for your support on this adventure.  We got way more back than we gave, and we hope you have enjoyed sharing it with us via this blog.

Chris Haders


Claudia Demick


Frances Munro

day 3 4

Barb Silvis


See you in church!

Clean Sweep

So there you are, living your life with your stuff.  It’s around you and you know where everything is.  It may be a lot of stuff, maybe more than you are ready to admit.  It’s stored away, and laying around.  It’s comforting to have your stuff in sight.

Then WHAMMO. Your house floods. You bring stuff upstairs as fast as you can.. Just grab whatever, put it wherever.  The rest of it is floating in gunk. After a week or so, you can go home, but you can’t really live the until they turn the power back on and you have water and gas (they have to replace the gas meters, by the way).… [Read More]


Seems like we’ve met a lot of people, and done a lot of work, but it goes fast when you are having fun and bringing some hope and help to others.

Here’s a picture gallery!  Enjoy.  On our way home tomorrow.

people 10 people 9 people 8 people 7 people 6 People 5 People 4 People 3 people 2 people 1

Some of the organizations we worked with:

Habitat for Humanity Superstorm Sandy Recovery

VOAD-Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters

Project 195

UCC Disaster Ministries


missiontrip 6

At the end of the street where we are staying (all of 50 feet away) is this sign.  It sits in front of a fence covered in vine, and just visible beyond is a BERM (AKA Levee).  It is a high mound of dirt, and it protects this neighborhood from the Hackensack River.  This is the type of structure that failed during Superstorm Sandy and led to the flooding of Little Ferry and Moonachie.

The sign is an indicator of another problem facing this entire area…  GUNK came along with the flood. … [Read More]


One disaster, thousands of homes damaged, hundreds of thousands of repairs needed, thousands of volunteers, hundreds of agencies, state, local, federal governments, and here we are on a given week in New Jersey trusting that there will be meaningful work to do, with tools, supplies and the like, keys to open doors, instructions if the work required is above our skill level.  Whew…

Just to give you an idea, we have now worked in 4 different houses in 2 days, doing priming and painting of walls, ceilings, doors and trim, scraping, sanding, spackling, and mudding drywall, cleaning, reworking stud walls, and fixing things in general, and organizing. … [Read More]


We heard stories today.  Lots of stories from people who weathered the storm (they thought), and were thankful they all had generators running, and minimal damage.  And then came the storm surge and the water rose with breathtaking speed.  They were rescued from their own homes in the middle of the night with all they owned left behind floating in contaminated, brackish water.

What we saw was the graphic evidence of some of those stories…  Heaps of “stuff” left when the water receded.  Extensive damage to homes that had housed the same families for decades. … [Read More]

Put on your geography hats!

We are in little Ferry, NJ, a small, tight knit community on the Hackensack River in northern New Jersey.  Modest homes are tightly clustered behind the “berm” ( we would call it a levee).

Sandy pushed high tide up into the river, and overtopped the berm by about 9 feet.  Yes, 9 feet.  About 80% of the whole town was flooded.  Imagine what that would look like in your area–all basements, cars, first floors…  everything soaked with icky water.  And remember, it was october/November when this happened, so COLD…


Take a look online by searching Little Ferry Sandy Damage and you’ll start to get a picture.… [Read More]

And so it begins… Mission trip to New Jersey, October 2013

This morning four of us from Central Congregational Church are headed to Little Ferry, New Jersey to participate in Superstorm Sandy relief.  We have a minivan to pick up, packing to do and a 3 1/2 hour drive ahead of us today, but the weather is beautiful and we are on a MISSION!

No idea at this point what the situation on the ground will be, or what we will be doing, but it will be worthwhile and an amazing Adventure, we are sure.  Stay tuned!