Volunteers take to the kitchen to help flood victims

Greenbriar residents and volunteers Sally Brookes, Sue Baenziger, and Amy Paternoster made sandwiches on Aug. 23 for displaced residents in the aftermath of the flooding at Greenbriar I in Brick. [DANIELLA HEMINGHAUS | THE OCEAN STAR].

BRICK TOWNSHIP — Since the floods of Aug. 13, a group of residents in Greenbriar I  have stepped up to provide meals to residents who were forced from their homes.

While some volunteers made their way to Markham Road in Greenbriar I, to help clean out the homes most impacted by flooding, others headed to the kitchen at the clubhouse.

“This isn’t something we planned, it just evolved,” said Lauri Yoncak, a Greenbriar I resident who helped organize the volunteers.

Each day since the flooding, about seven volunteers have helped out in the kitchen. The group came together organically, Ms. Yoncak said Thursday.

“I had come up because I looked out my window and saw 50 emergency vehicles and said, ‘What’s going on?’”said Ms. Yoncak, whose home was unaffected by the torrential rains on Aug. 13.

“Everybody else started coming up [to the clubhouse] and it just happened.”

These volunteers have plenty of experience, many of them helped to feed residents after Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

For some volunteers, the fact they need to take to the kitchens again so soon after Sandy is not lost on them.

“It was like a bad dream, I couldn’t believe it,” said Stella Perullo, another volunteer.

According to Ms. Yoncak, when news of what had happened in Greenbriar spread and the community heard of the 105 homes flooded and 60 residents who needed to be evacuated from their homes by boat, donations of food and water began to pour into the clubhouse.

Most of the food is stored in the clubhouse and the volunteers have a stockpile of donated clothing, shoes, cleaning supplies and bathroom products to give to residents who need more than just a full stomach.

For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.