When The Fuller Center for Housing in the New Jersey Pines was selected to host the 2013 Millard Fuller Legacy Build, they had an important task at hand. But that was more than a month before Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the Jersey shore.
And Sandy changed everything.
The task of hosting the Legacy Build is now both important and urgent as the build site moves about 40 miles east to the low-income, flood-ravaged areas of Atlantic City, where Fuller Center volunteers will assemble to work on 20-30 repair projects for families whose homes were ravaged by the storm.
The Build also has been moved up a few months. It will now be held April 28-May 3. The timetable was changed from July 29-Aug. 2 to meet the urgent need and still allow for the planning it takes to host hundreds of volunteers for such a massive build.
“After meeting some of the families who were flooded during the Sandy storm and seeing the talented leadership — including how well Neil Brown’s team at New Jersey Pines is working with groups like Hope Force — I think it would be wrong to make people wait until the end of summer,” Fuller Center Director of U.S. Field Operations Kirk Lyman-Barner said. “We will need everyone who can to sign up early to help during the Legacy Build, and we will soon set up registration for the build.”
The bright lights of the casino district are shining brightly again as the city tries to get back to normal, especially for the tourists upon whom their economy relies. But many families are still hurting almost a month after Sandy hit.
“It’s a town of about 36,000, about 25 percent of whom are low-income,” Brown said Monday during a conference call with Fuller Center leadership across the nation. “And they were hit hardest by the flooding.”
“People can help by asking skilled contractors to serve as house captains during the build,” Lyman-Barner said. “In the large metropolitan area of the Northeast, and with as much attention as the storm received, we are confident we can attract a lot of volunteers. What we need most is talented supervisors and money to buy materials.”