Go Home Sandy

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So… where to begin?

I am so bad with blogs. I don’t know what the supposed expected time to report in is, but I fall off.
Since I last posted, I was in a bubble of marital, honeymooner and newlywed bliss.
Now, life sort of feels post apocalyptic. Well not really anymore, but it did for about 3 weeks.
The dust seems to be settling now from the effects we felt here at the good ol Jersey Shore from Frankenstorm Sandy.
Anyone who knows us personally, knows we are “on the water folk”. We ourselves do not live on the water, but we do have a family shore house that is in fact on a lagoon as well as another family property directly on the bay.
Needless to say – if you had property within a mile of water in our area – your house likely was flooded and thus destroyed.
We ourselves sustained minimal damages, however riding the storm itself drained us, but the shore house, now thats another story.  We lost power for a few days and had to endure some spiritual issues facing such new challenges – due to being with the baby in prolonged cold we bugged out to a dear friends who had power and plenty of duties and supplies to help us fit in with their family. Meanwhile, my husband and his family are salvaging their lives in piles of rubble.
I felt so helpless staying behind with the kids  as my husband went to work by day on that tiny laptop for a few hours then changed into silt and bay soaked clothes to help his family tired over their huge piles of shit. I hadn’t seen any newscasts, or heard any radio reports save for catching Gov. Christie speak while charging my phone in the car. In fact, having to actually use our emergency plan – awarded me the insight to all of our weaknesses in our emergency kit * No Radio.(I was RAISED smarter than that, doh) * No Alternative Power Source. We had gas range, so yes hot water, yes cooking but no heat, and no alt energy from anything but the car.
The first night at our friends house I hopped online and saw an areal video of our beach. The beach I have different color badges for, from the last 5 years on my beach bag, Mantaloking. It was totally demolished. Sometimes we dont understand the magnitude of something without a visual. I had a broken foot once and it magically didn’t hurt so much until I saw the Xray with the break. Somehow – it hurt so much after then. Funny how that is, but once I saw the Mantaloking Bridge to no where my heart caught on fire. I started to dig a little further a realized shit, the place I got married a month ago was demolished too in Point Pleasant. Really. Just a picture now.
The morning we were heading back home to power my husband let me go home ahead of him and he stayed behind with the baby at our friends so I could have a moments peace. The baby did not do well with so much upset to his routine but he did learn a lot from everything just like the rest of us, including how to make an amazing pot of coffee.  I decided to go to the grocery store before going home, I knew we had just nothing fresh to eat.  As I walked through the store and looking around it looked scary and sad. There was a man in front of me pushing a cart with no shoes on, hair all over the place. I just imagined that he had come out of one of the flooded neighborhoods. I turned down the dairy isle and there was 1 loaf of bread on my right and garbage bags taped over all the fridges and freezer. There was no meat, no cheese, no milk, yogurt, frozen items, nothing fresh….at all. The produce was all wilted and picked through…it was so strange. Tears streamed down my face pushing that shopping cart – my first moment alone and here I am in the middle of the grocery store crying. I found some almond milk for the baby and hoped for the best and just got out of there.
Feeling too untouched, to unscathed – I put out a simple call to arms on facebook.
It’s funny, you really never know anyone. Truly you don’t know anyone, but you know what they do, right…?
add it up – it all counts
I run a business from home and I am developing an independent career – I believe in myself and my talents but I can’t sit by and watch people SUFFER around me and do nothing – it goes against who I am, and what I want my business to represent. There is nothing more impressive to me, then a person who works hard and gets results. The other thing that impresses me is how far a person will go in their generosity with no other reason, agenda or what have you but just to be generous.
The wave of kindness, the show of arms and support that my friends, and people I don’t even know but just HAPPEN to know this person who knows that person who happens to think I’m swell have given to us is incredible and eye opening.
So thanks to donations, to people literally connecting with each other across city and state lines to entrust US with essential living supplies, with snacks, with medicine, with clothing, blankets, baby supplies, coats, coffee, toiletries, reusable shopping bags, cleaning supplies, money…. the list goes on…we have been able to filter these goods exactly where they need to go due to intelligence we’ve gained from our friends, our family, our networks and our beloved volunteers.  Thanks to items that have been donated, we have made several huge donation drops to countless churches, relief organizations and groups in the Brick, Toms River, Point Pleasant and Toms River Areas. We have sent no less than 10 individualized care boxes of essential living and clean up supplies as well as food, blankets and clothing to individuals and families who have lost almost if not everything. We have a target group of families with children who suffered massive losses and have provided them with food, formula, diapers, toiletries… you name it. In addition to this we are running mobile relief services of snacks, coffee, utility items and gloves to workers in neighborhoods most heavily hit by Sandy. This service will run through the winter on heavy work days – which is usually the weekends. We are also cooking hot meals for our volunteers and extended family almost every night and providing endless coffee to them as well.
We are gathering toys to drop to specific organizations for the holidays. Lastly I am starting the T shirt bracelet campaign back up and this run will have strips of blue and denim woven in to represent floodwaters and tears but also our strength and passion for this place.
I am dwindling down to the last boxes of food and clothes that were donated and I am beginning to see our furniture again. It does feel good to have space again but it also makes me turn my head into other methods of raising support for the people who need it here and there is talk of a benefit a little down the road. We LOVE volunteers, and creative ideas – if you want to help us, all you need is an idea to run with and we will provide you plenty of support.
Special thanks to the individuals who have stepped up in so many ways to make this possible – I know I will miss people if I try to list them all – but I will name a few people that I consider SUPERSTARS for how far they’ve bent backwards to get us HELP in the clutch –
Shawnee and Mark Thomas
GORUCK Cares
Lisa Fogarty Kaczynski
Frank Malovic
Kelli and Kris Panjeshahi
Shelli and Dan Martinez
Tracy McGuigan
Terra and Stephen Kroll
Heather Juno
Elaine Hill
BB and Kimster
Debbie and Gregg DeSibour
Rommy and Kevin Coleman
Corinne Casella
The Pagnotta Family
Elaine Hill
Paige Libby
Carla Danca
Steve Corley
Melissa Suescan -Franco, Jessica Taylor, Casey Quigley and company
I KNOW I am missing a LOT of people who pitched in too and if I did please comment with their names so everyone KNOWS who has stepped up here.
We started a group on facebook called GO HOME SANDY – follow everything we are doing to help fix the situation post SANDY.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/GOHOMESANDY/
Find out how you can help – how to get help and what we are up to.
Thank you to every one who has been a part of this relief effort.
In the coming weeks we need support so this candle of support can burn a bit longer so we can rebuild this place to what it once was. Get in touch with me if you want to be a part of this project! GO HOME SANDY, for good.

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