CALTR began as the Hurricane Sandy Relief Project of the Reformed Church of Highland Park (RCHP) – a member church of Churches Improving Communities (CIC). In the throes of Hurricane Sandy in October and November of 2012, RCHP offered immediate disaster relief and coordinated groups of volunteers to travel to the New Jersey shore to clear debris and rehabilitate damaged homes.
RCHP became a major drop-off point in Middlesex County to donate goods or money to storm victims, and rapidly organized Saturday volunteer work trips to storm-devastated areas. CIC member Community Church of Keyport distributed aid collected at RCHP daily to families who lost their homes.
With the Red Cross, FEMA, and AmeriCorps, RCHP assisted storm victims with emergency disaster relief. RCHP connected with the Union Beach Police Department to participate in later stages of recovery. The Church of Christ’s disaster response team, Gateway, together with the Christian Reformed Church in North America’s organization World Renew, provided valuable program mentoring.
Today, RCHP collaborates with member churches and community partners under the structure of CIC to provide long term recovery services to the New Jersey coast through CALTR.