Nov 3, 2012 9:53 PM by Hope Hanselman, KSBY News
Many on the East Coast are now recovering from Hurricane Sandy's aftermath.
Analysts say the storm ranks as the fourth most costly catastrophe in our nation's history and the damage could add up to $20 billion.
But whether it be through monetary donations or physical labor, people on the Central Coast are finding ways to pay it forward.
"I was watching on the news and I was seeing families that don't have fresh water to drink," Krista Kanter, Marketing Coordinator for Jersey Mike's Subs in Santa Maria, said.
Though three-thousand miles removed from Hurricane Sandy's path, the devastation still feels close to home.
Local businesses, like Jersey Mike's Subs, are teaming up with the Red Cross to help those wounds heal.
"That's all we really can do is provide food for people and a place where they can join together and develop a new sense of hope."
But, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley made a more valuable investment. Her son and her other son's girlfriend are working in the clean up.
"Every mother wants her child to run away from danger and run away from fire," she said. "But, I've actually come to grips with the fact that my son runs to danger."
Her son, Sam, is working with the U.S. Forest Service to clean up fallen trees that have taken out power lines and are blocking roadways.
Her other son's girlfriend was deployed on Friday to volunteer with the Red Cross and coordinate efforts.
"I miss them. I love them. I can't wait to get my arms
around them again, but I couldn't be prouder."
Despite the cold, the discomfort and the frustration, her kids are making a difference.
"When I talked to Sam he was deliriously happy, which is something that is so difficult for me to wrap my head around."
Relief comes in forest crew, in volunteers, in supportive family members and right out of your pocket.
Even three-thousand miles won't stand in the way.
"It's a great country we live in because we do come together during disasters," Dudley said.
Jersey Mike's Subs in Santa Maria is collecting donations for the Red Cross through November 9.
You can also help by giving blood at local Red Cross Blood Drives.
The Red Cross has already raised more than $11 million to help survivors.
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