9 Months - Steve Stathis
Steve and his son Christian own Boarders Surf Shop, which has been a Rockaway institution since 2004. Both stores were completely destroyed in the storm. Nine months on, Steve has reopened in time for summer. But even as the beach-goers return to Rockaway, his business is still only running at 30 percent of what it was last year.
Steve is also president of the Graybeards, a nonprofit organization that has been a staple of the Rockaway community for over a decade. Since Sandy, the role of the Graybeards has been critical. Managing donations and getting the funds directly to those that most need it has almost become a full time job.
As FEMA and insurance companies deny many claims in the area, the Graybeards have become the last resort for a lot of desperate people. Steve reads through letter after letter from his neighbors and becomes emotional as he tells me about who they have helped, and who they cannot help enough.