Come hell or high water… Hurricane Sandy made “high water” hell for countless American’s on the East coast. While I’ve been watching and waiting to see where my help was needed the most, I happened upon a post from one of my closest friends. Up until that post, I had played the “horrible friend” role and I had completely forgotten that he was born and raised in Jersey. (I’m sorry, Jeremy) When he originally asked me how to set up a ChipIn account and I asked him why, he proceeded to tell me that it was for his aunt and uncle whose house flooded. My stupidity didn’t fail me, it took at least a minute for the whole thing to sink in and for realization to dawn on me. His family lost their home because of Sandy.
I pointed Jeremy in the right direction for his fundraiser to help his beloved aunt and uncle, steering him to ChipIn, a fantastic website that I use for all of my countless “needy” causes. ChipIn allows people to set up an online fundraiser where they can receive donations via Paypal. ChipIn has saved numerous dogs and cats from death at the shelters and I’ve been able to use it to raise funds for some people who were in great need. Last Christmas, I raised over $3,000 for a man and his dog. While it’s easy to see only the horrible in people, it’s amazing when you catch a glimpse of some amazing good at work. When I spied on Jeremy’s ChipIn this morning, I was happy to see that he had raised $285 on his own! Great work, Jeremy! Well, you know me… and while $285 is great, we can do better!
Jeremy’s Aunt Trish and Uncle Ed lived in New Jersey’s Brick Township, the 3rd most populous municipality in all of Ocean County. Things were great until the largest Atlantic hurricane on record obliterated their township and sent 4 feet of flood water through the Dobrzynski home. The family rode out the storm at a neighbor’s house across the street and they watched and waited until the high-tide receded. When they were able to safely leave their neighbor’s and return home, they were met with darkness and complete destruction. All of the family’s belongings were under water. They lost their home and 2 vehicles thanks to Sandy.
The Dobrzynski’s are just one of the thousands of families who are trying to gather the pieces of their shattered lives. Since the storm, the days have been spent sifting through their life and what’s left of their home. Friends and other relatives have showed up and offered help in removing items from the house and adding them to a pile in the front yard. Clothes can be seen strung around their home, one last attempt at salvaging what remains. Trish told my friend,
““You know, this will sound weird but we are okay! The support and love that we have received already in this horrible thing, it just makes it okay. I have had my moments of tears and frustration but we are okay and that is all that matters.”
Trish said that in the wake of the disaster, the residents in her community are coming together and helping each other out. Trish and her friend Cindy have spent quite a bit of time on the phone with FEMA and the insurance companies but they all remain strong and hopeful that the process will be short and they will endure.
I encourage my faithful blog readers (and those of you who are new) to lend a hand to a family in need. While this post was aimed to help people who I know (through my bestie), I want this to be a reminder to us all. Be thankful for what you have and if you are in a position to offer help to Sandy’s survivors, please do so. The Dobrzynski’s ChipIn page can be viewed by clicking here. Donations are made via PayPal and funds will be transferred from Jeremy to his family. The family (and most other’s effected) is in need of:
- Cleaning Supplies
- Plastic Storage Containers/ Boxes
- Newspapers (for wrapping items)
- Volunteers to Help in Brick, NJ
Brick has received another mandatory evacuation order in anticipation of the Nor’Easter set to arrive on Wednesday. The storm is expected to bring winds over 50 MPH. 1.35 million homes and businesses were still without power according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
If you would prefer to make a donation for Trish & Ed via mail, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will provide you with a mailing address. For any offers to volunteer, please email me and I will direct you to Jeremy’s family and you can contact them directly.
Don’t want to donate to someone you don’t know? I trained with the American Red Cross as a disaster relief worker and I always encourage donations to Red Cross. You can visit their website at http://www.redcross.org/hurricane-sandy.
To help some of the animals who are victims of Sandy, please visit http://www.indiegogo.com/rebuildshelter. Most have heard of Rescue Ink, a 501c3 animal rescue made famous by their show on National Geographic. Their shelter was destroyed but they aren’t giving up!
Thoughts and prayers are with all of the families and animals dealing with Sandy’s aftermath.