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Sandy Victims Return to Home Rebuilt by Volunteers

By Nicholas Rizzi | August 2, 2013 8:35am
 Yan Chen's home was damaged by Hurricane Sandy, and was rebuilt by volunteers. Chen was finally able to return home on Thursday, August 1, 2013.
Yan Chen's Home Rebuilt
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MIDLAND BEACH — Yan Chen’s home had a deluge of water 108 inches deep as Hurricane Sandy hit Staten Island last year.

“The whole house gone, everything gone,” Chen said. “I just saved a couple of pictures of the children.”

It left the house devastated and Chen's family's lives in limbo until this week, when they finally got back on track.

On Thursday Chen, her three kids and her husband were finally able to go back to their Iroquois Street home after it was rebuilt by volunteers from Zurich North America insurance, in alliance with the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the St. Bernard Project.

“We’re happy,” Chen said about her home. “We’re very happy.”

Currently, around 200 Zurich employees are helping to rebuild seven other homes in the area, and also gave a $165,000 grant to the St. Bernard Project to fund more homes to be rebuilt next year.

“I really think it’s so important for my colleagues and I to take this effort and give back to the communities in which we serve,” said Ed Lopes, East Regional Executive for Zurich. “We’re very excited to continue this journey.”

Aside from rebuilding the home, Zurich also gave the Chens a gift basket of home essentials to start them off, and IKEA donated $2,500 to help the Chens start furnishing their new home.