Ilene Winters and Chris Wood reviewing requests for help from Sea Bright Rising in Wood’s office Thursday. Below, a mudline shows the height of the water that inundated homes and businesses in town during Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)
By WIL FULTON
Nearly 70 days after Hurricane Sandy washed the Atlantic Ocean into his Sea Bright restaurant, Woody’s Ocean Grille owner Chris Wood hunkered down with Ilene Winters in his loft office, sifting through aid requests from residents whose homes were flooded or destroyed in the storm.
The two executives of Sea Bright Rising were prioritizing applications for help with repair and replacement expenses from their neighbors as part of an effort to dole out nearly $500,000 in donations collected in the aftermath of the October 29 storm.
We need two things from those reaching out to us: specificity and priority, Wood said. We dont give out direct personal checks, cash or Visa cards, but we are more than happy to write checks to contractors, landlords or electricians for a portion usually around 25 percent, of their bill, for example. We cant write a check for help.
Among the charitable organizations that arose in the wake of Sandy, the one Sea Bright residents have been able to lean on perhaps more than any other is a home-grown effort dedicated to the town’s return from the wreckage.
In terms of community outreach, involvement, and most importantly, results, it’s doing the job, its founders say. And in a period in which many Sandy-related charities are losing steam, Wood and Winters insist theirs is just getting started.