It's been days since Hurricane Sandy plunged many into darkness. Despite the challenges facing Connecticut, many communities have gathered to make things easier for those in need.
Hundreds of folks from seven towns around Connecticut have stopped by the John Winthrop Middle School in Deep River in the last few days for food, shelter and fun.
"This is like one big family. Everybody gets along, and you meet friends," said Laura Smith.
To Laura Smith, 75, the Winthrop school has been no ordinary shelter. Having access to the facility helped her stay alive as Hurricane Sandy cut off power to hundreds of thousands of people.
"I have COPD. I was afraid that if I lost power...I'd have no air to breathe and I knew this place was here," said Smith.
Outside of the shelter, people have been dealing with outages that forced many to leave their homes looking for food and a warm place to settle.
"It's really cold and there are all these trees on the neighbors houses," said Anastacia Cusack.
Luckily, may communities across Connecticut are coming together to help those still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
"We came here to volunteer to help with cleaning up," said Evan Kamoen.
Kamoen was one of the volunteers Friday evening at the Killingworth Volunteer Fire House, where the Lion's Club served hot meals and dessert to dozens of folks.
"This is a nice community service...have a cooked meal because we've been eating cold sandwiches," said Christine Mess.
As the lights slowly come back on and things eventually return to normal, Laura Smith said she'll never forget the sense of togetherness she's felt at this shelter.
"I am going to miss everybody. We made such good friends," said Smith.
The shelter at the Winthrop Middle School will remain open until Sunday; the school re-opens on Monday.