A Toms River man received a White House honor for his recovery work following Superstorm Sandy.
Warren "Drew" Chabot was one of the 17 individuals honored as Sandy "Champions of Change" Wednesday morning. Those honored "implemented innovative, collaborative solutions to meet the unique needs of communities and neighborhoods as they worked to rebuild after the devastating effects of this disaster," the White House said.
Chabot, who was displaced from his home by flooding caused by Sandy, helped Blue Wave Printing owner Scott Zabelski spearhead a funding campaign for those affected by the storm.
"Drew was extremely helpful in the first few days," Zabelski said. "He was a major part of getting us going."
The Toms River screen printing business created and sold "Restore the Shore" sweatshirts and T-shirts. A portion of each sale goes toward the community, and to date over $500,000 has been raised and distributed to nonprofit organizations helping with disaster relief.
"He was great. Drew was always there working 24/7 with me in the beginning," Zabelski said.
"As soon as a disaster hits, we see citizens come together to help those in need," said Paulette Aniskoff, deputy assistant to the President and director of the Office of Public Engagement, in a statement. "Time and again, we have seen the courage and heroism of first responders, organizations, and ordinary people in providing relief, recovery, and care, and these Hurricane Sandy champions of change are no exception."
Chabot, who did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on the honor, works full time at Home Depot. His position there has enabled him to help the displaced rebuild and return home.
"He has the local info on the shore," Zabelski said.
The White House created the "Champions of Change" program to highlight Americans who "are doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities," according to its Office of Communications.