All Hands Volunteers is an international disaster relief organization working around the clock to assist New York survivors of Hurricane Sandy in hard-hit areas. Donating his time, Travis Gibson is the project director of a field team that was doing damage assessments within 48 hours of landfall. Travis, who began volunteering in his community, has volunteered all over the U.S. and abroad.
Working Together As One has become a motto for Travis and his Sandy team as they coordinate with more than 1,400 other volunteers helping thousands of survivors. Working in Staten Island, Travis and his team encountered a unique situation.
A women in her early eighties who has owned five different properties on Staten Island for decades, found herself without a home after Sandy struck. On top of this she had the responsibility of the five dedicated families who had been renting homes from her for years. She had nowhere to turn until her two sons showed up with a team of All Hands Volunteers.
Recounts Travis: “We came in and created an all-encompassing immediate strategy to get these families back in their homes. Seeing the two sons selflessly dedicate their lives towards helping these families sparked a massive volunteer turnout from the community to help with the repair of these houses. All of the volunteers risked their lives for the benefit of these families who we were able to be back into their homes. Along with our work, a key was the support of community-based organizations that are focused on helping homeowners.
“After assisting more than 130 families in the Staten Island area alone, our volunteers go back through the affected houses to clean them and remove any loose contaminants. This permanent assistance work provides individuals with a chance at a new start in their homes without the fear of long-term damage to their homes.”