After Hurricane Sandy crept up the East Coast and left unthinkable damage in its wake, GTP employees quickly banded together to help the victims trying to recover.

Many people were flooded, left without power and some without homes. To make matters worse, the forecast in some areas was calling for colder temperatures and even snow in the days to follow. The plan at GTP to load a tractor trailer with supplies and take it to Gerritson Beach, a small town on the southern coast of Brooklyn, N.Y., was in place by Friday afternoon. The town, comprised mostly of modest homes and bungalows, was hit by 10-foot waves of water, high winds and relentless rain.

The request for donations started out including clothing, warm blankets, toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc. The response from the community was remarkable. Wiggle 100 in Troy contributed to the effort with on-air announcements and served as a drop off point. Several area churches and other organizations collected supplies as well. Multiple bins were filled outside the main gatehouse of GTP each day. Within the first few days, the amount of clothing alone filled 33 pallets of cardboard bins. Because of the amount of donations, the plan was reorganized to include two trucks to two different areas. GTP also sent six employees on the trip to help unload. A 53-foottractor trailer full of clothing, water and other miscellaneous supplies and a 26' U-Haul truck full of toiletries, cleaning supplies, baby items, and water left for New Jersey and for Gerritson Beach, N.Y. on Friday, Nov. 9.

The group that traveled to Gerritson Beach with the load of supplies saw the destruction that was left from the storm. The townspeople recounted the events of the storm stating that there were "walls of water" that knocked in front doors and swept trees and possessions away.

All of the homes in the area have basements that were flooded, and most homes have first floor water damage. The streets are still littered with debris and sidewalks are covered with soggy drywall, bags full of trash and soaked furniture and appliances that have been torn out of homes.

The puddles in the streets have a rainbow haze. Power has yet to be restored to the area and generators and extension cords weave back and forth over one alleyway. The windows to most homes are wide open in an effort to dry out their contents. Due to the long drying time, mold growth is the next challenge that homeowners are facing.

The Gerritson Beach Fire Department is acting as the community Relief Center and is along with the National Guard are organizing the volunteers and donations that have been brought in. The two-bay fire house had nearly four feet of water inside on the day of the storm and their hall is now housing donations, volunteers and tables lined with pans of hot meals.

Volunteers from the Athens and Danville fire departments were there on the day the group arrived, making it evident that people from our area are "paying forward" the relief that was given to our area a little more than a year ago. One volunteer came to make breakfast at the Relief Center one morning after the storm and hasn't left since. When the GTP team arrived to unload the truck, members of the National Guard, NYPD, Gerritson Beach Fire Department, and volunteers were ready to help. A human chain was used to move items down the narrow street to the holding location in the back of the Relief Center. The organization effort that GTP's warehouse group had put into the donations was very much appreciated by everyone. The donations were sorted and piled to make it easier for Gerritson Beach residents to find what they needed.

Several members of the community expressed their appreciation for the donations and for the assistance in organizing.

Submitted article.