The scene at the foot of the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge, on the Rumson side, is a surreal one post-Hurricane Sandy.
U.S. Army National Guard personnel are stationed at the entrance to the bridge, camouflage gear, hummer vehicle and all. No one may cross the bridge into Sea Bright. A lit sign sends the message, in addition to police and other emergency services vehicles.
A SCAT bus has been transporting Sea Bright residents over the bridge to their homes for 10 minutes at a time, section by section of town, to gather whatever they can from their devastated homes.
While piles of supplies have been brought in for the displaced residents, volunteers have said that, at this point, what is really needed more than anything is something hot and soothing to sip, like soup. People are getting colder by the day and waiting in line in adverse weather conditions is becoming more difficult, compounded by the stress. So, soup is on the wish list right now.
If there are any restaurateurs out there who have leftover soup and can figure out a way to deliver it hot, it would be most appreciated, the volunteers said.
And volunteers have come in all ages and backgrounds. Rumson residents Katherine Barrett and Kim Drastal are Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Field Hockey teammates and volunteers at the polls and in helping with relief efforts for displaced Sea Bright residents. Barrett is also a member of the Rumson EMS.
The two were helping at the voting polls Tuesday at the Fair Haven Firehouse and said that they are happy to help and encourage more to join in the effort.
"I just feel so bad for the people of Sea Bright," Barrett said. "We have to deal with no electricity, but they have to deal with just so much more. We're lucky by comparison. If we can do anything at all to make their day just a little better, it's good."
"It's been a great experience," said Drastal. "We're so lucky for what we have. We should all remember that."
If you have the means to provide hot soup to the residents, please reach out to the volunteers at the foot of the bridge by just bringing hot soup, cups and spoons (for serving), or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.