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From the Editor: In Frigid Monmouth, Pockets of Warmth

first_imgo Our ReadersThe historic recent cold snap gripping the area has been causing inconvenience, broken pipes, dead car batteries and real trouble navigating the simplest of tasks. But there are things going on in the Two River area that warm the heart.Take for instance the work of Family Promise of Monmouth County, the region’s only family shelter for those of us who have had a wrench tossed into our lives. It could be anything from the sudden loss of a job, Super Storm Sandy dislocation, a divorce or any other circumstance that forces a functional family, quite literally, into the cold. Rather than have children shivering in cars and sleeping in backseats, the families are welcomed into the warmth of Family Promise in Middletown and given a place to be safe in these frigid temperatures. The organization partners with community agencies, faith-based services, churches and synagogues – a total of 10 congregations in all – that provides showers and facilities for breakfast and lunch preparation. The families are then transported at 5 p.m. to another location where they can enjoy dinner and warm overnight accommodations.Or consider the valiant efforts of the Middletown EMS – from Lincroft, Port Monmouth and Leonardo – who pulled a 14-year-old from the 30-degree ice entrapped waters of Sandy Hook Bay, saving her life by minutes. The first responders then rescued another teenager and a mother who had wandered out on an outflow pipe, reaching a full football length into the Sandy Hook Bay. These are heroes. Community members who risked their own lives for those of others. We often take these men and women for granted but not a day should go by without a nod and a thanks, as well as a contribution, to these deserving Two River ambassadors.And finally, this week, we learn of the young Americans who left their homes around the country to come help other Americans still trying to recover from Super Storm Sandy. These FEMA Corps volunteers ranging from the ages of 18 to 24 are part of our domestic Peace Corp program known as AmericCorps National Civilian Community Corps. They do everything from helping the handicapped navigate the FEMA bureaucracy to removing debris and offering a helping hand as well as mapping flood prone areas. Working hand in hand with Habitat for Humanity, these young volunteers spend more than a month at the Extended Stay America in Red Bank and receive a small cost of living allowance as well as some tuition assistance. And when they leave here, at least for one volunteer, is a stop at City Year, an AmericCorps program that helps underachieving students in an inner-city school for a full year.If these examples of community commitment and giveback don’t make you want to hum “God Bless America,” I’m not sure what would. That’s the stuff the Two River area is made of and that’s the stuff America is made of, truly.Send us examples of those in your community who do good. We’ll give them a forum and let you all know who’s pitching in and how. We’re listening.Let’s Have CoffeeJody [email protected]last_img read more