There were trees everywhere. They were across roads, on top of homes, in power lines, and on top of cars. For some, it might have been a great chance to make some money, especially for people who specialize in landscaping.
But for John Broehl, of , the destruction left by Hurricane Sandy was a chance to help.
“I looked at Sandy as a natural disaster, where people in our town were in true need of assistance, in need of help, and that supersedes anything,” he said.
Following the storm, Broehl reached out to Austin Kosik, Coordinator of Emergency Management, and asked how he could help. His offer was quickly accepted, and Broehl volunteered his employees, all equipped with chainsaws, to assist the town in removing and clearing trees.
“They gave us 10 individuals fully equipped to help us in our efforts and didn’t charge us for anything,” said Township Administrator James White. “He basically gave us three more full crews. We never could have done the work we did without having all that extra manpower.”
East Brunswick’s own four-man tree maintenance crew typically works everyday of the year clearing and removing trees and branches. But when Hurricane Sandy blew through, even these experienced workers hand their work cut out for then.
“It was an honor and a privilege to work alongside the township,” said Broehl. “And I was, as a resident of East Brunswick, very impressed with the way the township handled the hurricane in all aspects and in all departments. It was an honor to be part of their efforts to get our town back.”
Broehl, a life-long East Brunswick resident, started Broehl’s lawn Maintenance 26 years ago, and says helping with the clean up is one way for him to give back to the town he loves.
“I grew up in East Brunswick and lived in East Brunswick my entire life,” he said. “I’m blessed to live here, attend it’s schools, and I played ball in the soccer clubs…I think it’s a beautiful community, a beautiful town, and I kind of took this personally–the condition of our town, and what happened to it, and I wanted to be part of getting it back where it should be.”
Helping to clear the roads after Hurricane Sandy isn’t the only way Broehl has tried to help in recovery efforts. He also ran a food drive, asking his customers to leave donations of food outside their homes.
“I called it take 5 minutes. I thought, I’ll make it easy. You take 5 minutes to go into your medicine cabinets, under the sink, and take out any new products that you’re willing to donate, put it in a bag, and I had my guys go through and bring the donations to the shop,” said Broehl. “I’m proud to say that we delivered, on behalf of our customers, over 5,000 items.”
Broehl’s Lawn Maintenance primarily works in East Brunswick and focuses on lawn care and complete property maintenance and landscaping. To reach them, call 732-214-0953, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit them at http://www.facebook.com/BROEHLSLAWN.