I just want to thank you all so much for your concern for me and Chris. We were overwhelmed with love through text, voicemails, emails, facebook, etc. As you know, NYC got hit pretty badly by hurricane Sandy. It seems our neighborhood was spared. Other than a minor leak in our roof, we barely noticed the storm. Never even lost power! While we were blessed to not have any damage, some of our friends weren't so fortunate. Leif and Stacy had just moved into a great apartment only two blocks from the beach in Brooklyn. A basement apartment. It breaks my heart when I think of all that they have lost.


Thank God that both Leif and Stacy (and their two dogs!) evacuated before the storm and are all safe! But as you can see, most of their possessions have been destroyed. Everything is soaked in sewage and salt-water. A group of us from church went over to help them recover as much as possible, but so much of it was un-salvageable (sofas, chairs, their bed, rugs, artwork, books, etc.). If you are looking for a way to help out, but aren't sure where to start…I know Leif and Stacy are going to have a big financial hurdle to get over. They are going to need to find a new apartment (which usually includes first month rent, security deposit, and broker fee), they will need to refurnish it, will need to build up a new wardrobe, and so much more. No pressure, but if you want to help out financially, send me an email ( and I will point you in the right direction! Side note: As you can tell, this is SO not a photography post. No pretty pictures today, just point-n-shoot reality!

UPDATE 11/04/12: You can now donate online to Leif, Stacy, and other locals from Brooklyn! Our church has set up an EverRibbon account to make donating easy, fast, and simple! Funds will be used to purchase Ikea, Target & Home Depot gift cards as well as to purchase food, clothing and other lost items.  Click here to give them a jump start at rebuilding their lives!  Thank you so much to everyone who has already reached out! You are all AMAZING people!! :)

As we entered the Brighton Beach area, countless homes were turned inside out onto sidewalks in garbage bags. 


This building was right near the beach. Two days later and the garage is still flooded with several feet of water. 


There were so many broken windows. Not sure if it was from the water, from looters, or what...


We saw dozens of downed trees on our drive through the beach towns...


Leif and Stacy's street was filled with branches, garbage, and mud.


We're hoping to be able to salvage their dishware. Hopefully 4 or 5 runs through the dishwasher should take care of the sewage contamination. 


Stacy worked in fashion, and spent years collecting an incredible wardrobe. Her eclectic and fun style can't be found in your local department store, that's for sure! We are going to wash everything that was salvageable, and then see what they can keep. Again, hopefully like 4 or 5 wash cycles on CRAZY HIGH HEAT should do the trick! Anyone know any tricks to remove stains and smells?


Entering the apartment...


The living room/main room. Almost everything pictured here will be going right to the dumpster.


You can see the exact height that the water got. It was about a foot away from their ceiling. WOW.


Near complete destruction in the kitchen. They hope to be able to save some of the appliances, but we're not sure how well they will work after soaking in sea water for hours. 


Just WOW...


I was amazed at Leif and Stacy's positive attitudes. I know they are hurting, but they have such a great grasp on what's important - their family is safe and healthy. Below left, Stacy and Leslie go through clothes to see what might survive. Below right, Kevin (our associate pastor) unloads the closet for the ladies.


Some of our beautiful church family! Although the circumstances were terrible, it was really a great time to come together and embrace the quote "many hands make light work!" Praying for all the shore areas, lower Manhattan, and for the homes that caught fire in Queens.