GREENE – At the curb in front of the Dean’s home on North Chenango Street in the Village of Greene are two piles of trash. One, a growing mound of sodden furniture and boxes and bags of household items, is evidence of all the couple has lost as a result of the Chenango River overflowing its banks in a near repeat of the devastation of 2006.
The other, though – a heap of insulation, wood and other debris – shows the true meaning of community.
“We don’t know anyone,” said Nancy Dean, a Canadian who moved to Greene four years ago with her husband Paul, an Oxford native who retired from the Navy.
But the fact that the couple is relatively new to the community didn’t stop a veritable legion of volunteers from showing up at their home with tools in hand Saturday to help the couple carry their water-damaged belongings to the curb and begin the arduous task of ripping out walls and sodden insulation. More volunteers were there Sunday, as well.
“I don’t know how we’re going to thank them all,” she said, voice choked with emotion.
Among the volunteers were pastors and members of the Berean Bible Church, Greene Central Schools Superintendent Jonathan Retz and even high school students eager to lend a hand.
“Just as you think you need something, someone is there with it,” Dean said, whether it was a crow bar, cleaning supplies or a hot meal.