An instrumental figure for flood recovery in Schoharie County is packing his bags. Josh DeBartolo's days as Schoharie Recovery Director are almost over, but his service to others is just getting started. As YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, DeBartolo will be taking the lessons he's learned here to help others in need around the globe.
SCHOHARIE, N.Y. -- "He's just amazing. He's just an amazing human being," said Leslie Price.
"He was very determined, determined to find people that he could help," said Sarah Goodrich.
There aren't many people Josh DeBartolo hasn't helped during his unexpected stay in Schoharie County.
"I was supposed to start a job three days after Hurricane Irene and I had just planned on being here for the weekend for my little brothers' wedding and the storm hit the next day and I just decided I needed to stay," said DeBartolo.
His ambition to help his hometown recover is inspirational. He turned his brother's reception hall into a shelter and shortly after formed Schoharie Recovery.
"We've coordinated over 35,000 volunteers, we've had volunteers in over 500 homes and moved 300 of them back home," said DeBartolo.
And now a bittersweet time for DeBartolo as he winds down his last week on the job. Reflecting back on all those he's helped here and also given his time to help in other areas facing disaster, like Fort Plain. And one of his favorite moments raising more than $16,000 to say goodbye to his grizzly look.
"It was kind of a pledge that I wouldn't cut it until the hair salon was back in business," said DeBartolo.
Price said, "It meant the world to me. Josh is such a great person. To have him even think to do that was very moving."
And keeping DeBartolo on the streets of Schoharie re-opened the door to one very special relationship.
"I reconnected with my high school sweetheart. She moved home to help her parents rebuild and we will be getting married next month," DeBartolo said.
And together, the couple's love will continue to help others around the globe in need.
DeBartolo said, "After we get married, we're going abroad to help at a shelter for malnourished children"
"He has left his permanent mark on this community in the most positive way," Goodrich said.
A mark we can all only hope to emulate.