The efforts to help a Hurricane Sandy ravaged Belmar brought out more than 12,000 volunteers since the storm struck Oct. 29, Councilwoman Jennifer Nicolay said.
The councilwoman, in charge of volunteer services after the storm, tabulated the number and said about 1,000 more were expected to assist.
The efforts spanned from food preparation and distribution, to clean-up efforts, as well as planning fundraisers and painting furniture for donation.
"I must thank the incredible efforts put forth by the thousands of amazing volunteers who devoted countless hours to aid in our recovery by distributing fliers to residents, cleaning out basements, removing debris and delivering supplies to those in need," Nicolay said.
The 12,000 volunteers who came out in the weeks and months following the hurricane, were Belmar residents, fellow New Jerseyans, and concerned groups and individuals from far away. The Township of Randolph, N.J. "adopted" Belmar, and schools there vowed to help throughout the year.
Furniture donations were given to a local shop for refurbishing and distribution to homes that had lost their furnishings in the storm, Nicolay said. The borough website still offers the option of donating furniture: email email@example.com
In other efforts, local churches ran daily soup kitchens, providing hot meals to those in need.
Also among the counted volunteers were schoolchildren who came to borough hall to hand out free food.
"I am so very grateful for their selfless generosity and tireless spirit. They have made a lasting impression on Belmar and have given each of us renewed faith that very soon our town will come back stronger than ever," Nicolay said.
Cleaning up the Belmar Boatworks and the Art Council's painting of barriers were also among the recent efforts to rebuild Belmar through volunteerism.