#Sandy Recovery…My NJ, My Heart!

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Below is what I wrote just a week after “Sandy 2012” hit.  It hasn’t been a year yet and recovery is very slow.  The double edge sword of helping the individuals who have been displaced or restoring the shore and the economies they support.  Without the restoration of the boardwalks and tourist attractions that support the economy; there would be nothing for the individuals to restore to either.  They go hand in hand.  Coming back from major disasters takes many many years.  New Orleans is still in recovery…so much of their economy is recovered and the first thing they had to address.  The individuals of Katrina, Sandy and Oklahoma need their structure back before they can have a chance to recover.

Thank you Gov. Christie for caring about my home town as much as I do…but you have the power…stay with it!

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I get to say this is where I learned what life was all about. The place I was born and raised. Unless you have been to the Jersey Shore and places south, you don’t know Jersey.

A week after “Sandy 2012” I’m reminded of who I am and what it really means to be Jersey Strong. The news keeps showing pictures of the iconic places that have been lost in this storm. I am reminded of the sense of neighborhood; how we always care for each other. We take care of each other…you don’t have to be the neighbor I’ve lived next to for 40 years, maybe you moved in yesterday. Do you need a place to be warm, get a hot meal, take a shower; no one will turn you away. Getting everyone back to creature comforts is the goal of the community. Rebuilding is necessary to continue an economy that allows for the way of life so many know. Not to restore the childhood memories that have been ripped from all of us. That was a gut reaction as the pictures started to surface. The memories of community are what make “Jersey Strong” through and through. That wasn’t ripped away but strengthened in this storm.

I have been asked over and over by people why nobody got their possessions out. The simple answer, for a lot of people these are summer homes that were locked up for the winter. A stage 1 Hurricane didn’t feel like an immediate threat. Generations of family’s have survived these storms, why now, why would this storm be any different. It was truly unimaginable. I knew I wouldn’t be able to budge my family, so I just hoped they were far enough off the ocean to be saved the devastation that appeared to be on it’s way. Never losing contact with them even through the heart of the storm was a true blessing being so far away.

It was hard to describe to them the unthinkable and what they were going to be dealing with in days to come. They were isolated in there home with no idea of the devastation going on around them. My family is resourceful and were storm ready! And like true Point Pleasant natives are all helping their community.

You may not know that Point Pleasant Boro has a volunteer EMS and Fire Departments. They have been working (volunteering, not making money off this) 24/7 taking care of their community…My sister going between her actual job at the hospital to the First Aid. My nephew working at the hospital, my mom at the church preparing hot meals…that just scratches the surface

This summer I went to the Boro’s High School graduation. All of us packed into a small gymnasium because of weather; As I sat there listening to the children of all the people I graduated and went to school with being called, one of the student speeches was exactly what you felt at that moment. Talking about the excitement of leaving for college but understanding that the gift of community that was instilled in every graduate will be carried with them no matter where they go. As a native who left, this really struck a cord with me. I may not live there but my heart is with every person. I was given wings by my parents, but, always knowing that safety net called home “Point Pleasant Boro” would always welcome me back.

If you are looking for a way to help during this long rebuilding and want to know exactly where your money is going; a donation to the Point Boro EMS will go a long way in helping them continue to care for the community!

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