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Monday evening, I was invited to attend a meeting by Gail D., a patient of ours at Monmouth Pain. The meeting was for displaced families at Port Monmouth Elementary School. I was asked to bring a treatment table and be ready to help. Port Monmouth is a community on the Raritan Bay hit very hard by Hurricane Sandy. Of the 250 families in this small school district more than 50 lost their homes. Many others are still living in homes without power and/or living upstairs in a property with a gutted or flooded ground floor. FEMA assistance is not what many in the US think it is and insurance carriers are refusing to help many of these people with various excuses and fine line exclusions. All this is going on just 45 minutes from Manhattan and almost 3 weeks after the storm.

I listened to numerous devastating stories, treated several dozen displaced members of the community and have to say I learned the meaning of “pride”. Instead of asking for help most of these people in this blue collar town say give it to someone who needs it. I met people who are displaced, lost almost all their possessions and are donating whatever they have left for gift baskets to help others.

I was so grateful to have been able to offer a simple chiropractic adjustment and something that many of these people accepted. In return, I believe I received something far greater. I learned so much about the power of the human spirit, the American spirit, and what truly does matter – our families, our community, our pride, and our strength. There is a lot for us to be very thankful for this holiday season.