Though the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy in Fairfield is so vast that officials are still tallying the numbers, residents have banded together to show resilience in the massive storm's wake.
Tales of volunteerism, kindness, and charity erupted almost immediately after the storm passed. The very few businesses with electricity in the first few days after Sandy offered hot showers and places to charge appliances for residents -- some of whom remained without power for more than a week.
Businesses and individuals began to collect donations for charities -- like Fairfield's Operation Hope -- as well as for residents who lost their homes to the storm or were otherwise affected. From Henry C. Reid Jewelers and the Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival teaming up to collect donations to
On Sunday, Nov. 11, roughly 1,000 volunteers met up at Jennings Beach to spend the day cleaning up the devastated Fairfield Beach Road neighborhood.
In a video by Fairfield-based filmmakers Brian and Lisa Russell, volunteers talked about what the event meant to the community.
Katie Boland, one of the three women who organized the event via Facebook, said the spirit at the beach Sunday "has been so uplifting and so energizing."
She and two friends -- Katie Niznansky and Lindsey Morton -- put together the Facebook event and expected maybe 50 people, Boland said in the video. On Sunday, about 1,000 showed up.
"We're really proud to be residents of Fairfield," Morton said.
State Rep. Tony Hwang added that the beach cleanup was a reflection of the entire community -- "not only in Fairfield, but throughout the entire region, coming together to really make a difference to help our neighbors."
Pam Foarde, Fairfield resident, realtor, and a blogger for Patch, recounted her experience heading to ravaged Staten Island with friends to volunteer for the day.
"We found ourselves in a devastated neighborhood where a huge grass roots effort was taking place," Foarde writes. "There were volunteers everywhere, doing everything they could to help these unfortunate homeowners get through the day."
"What is it about a crisis that brings out the neighborly love in others?" she asked.
The love was not just between neighbors, but businesses -- both big and small -- pitched in. At Sunday's beach cleanup, Whole Foods, Chili Bomb, Super Duper Weenie, Nestle Waters, and others brought snacks and beverages for volunteers, Morton said in the video.
"Numerous, numerous restaurants just dropped off stuff," she said.
Throughout town, the Girl Scouts of Troop 33038 delivered pizza and cookies to the Police Department and personnel out in the field.
On the Post Road, McDonald's donated fries to members of the National Guard. Resident Dave Aston said he took his kids to buy 15 cheeseburgers to give to the officers. When he asked the manager if the store would match the burgers with fries, "they were happy to do so," Aston said.
"All good karma," Aston said. "Makes me proud to live in the town of Fairfield."
Do you have post-Sandy tales of kindness and 'good karma' that you would like to share? Post them in the comments thread -- we would love to read them.