Please help if you can. Any way you can.
In the six years that I’ve been blogging, all my posts have had something to do with whisky. Just this one time, I’m going to make an exception. If you’re only interested in me talking about whisky, you can stop reading now and go on with your life. But this will certainly be my most important post since I’ve been blogging.
For those of you who don’t know me personally, the Jersey Shore has been a large part of my life. My parents took us to the beach during the summertime every year when I was a kid. I married a Jersey girl and her parents did the same for her. When my wife Amy and I started our own family, we continued this tradition, taking our daughter and her friends to the beach with us.
In 2006, we bought our first place at the beach and became good friends with our beach community. In many ways, they are like family to us. Last year, Amy and I took a big plunge. We sold our first house and purchased our dream home. The first picture you see here is what the street that our house is on looks like. As you can see, several of the houses are off their foundations and are now on the paved street which is covered in several feet of sand. (The other pictures here are also of our neighborhood communities. There were picked randomly. There are thousands of them just like this.)
Hundreds of houses in our communities were burned to a crisp or swallowed up by the ocean. Most of the ones still remaining are badly damaged. In fact, the island was actually cut in half. (See the picture to the lower left.) If you’ve been watching the news or reading the papers this past week, you will have seen numerous photos and videos of this barrier island that so many of us call home.
I’m not going to show you a picture of my house, because I don’t want this post to be about me and our family tribulations. Our loss is certainly real: emotionally, financially, etc., but this is our vacation home, not our primary residence. We are alive. We have a place to live, and we both have a jobs. We will get through this.
But lives have been lost. There are people who are homeless, with nothing except the clothes on their back, needing shelter. Others are still living in their homes, with no heat, power, water, food, or anywhere else to go. The sewage plants have been flooded and raw sewage is reversing course and flooding their houses. Empty houses are being looted. What’s more, the next couple nights are going to get below freezing, and we have a nasty Nor’easter coming mid-week which could be even more devastating. And this is not just a New Jersey issue. It’s all along the east coast.
This problem isn’t going away anytime soon. Most of the houses are heated by gas, and the gas lines on the barrier island have been compromised. All new lines have to be installed, which could take 6-9 months or more. People are going to be homeless for a long time. The islands are basically under Martial Law and we still have not even been able to access the our homes to assess damage and grab a few belongings.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is, before you get on with your lives this week with your jobs, voting, and all the other things you have to do, please consider offering help of some sort if you can. It doesn’t matter how small it is. Whether its a financial donation, food, clothing, offering shelter, volunteering your services, it will all be gratefully accepted.
I’ve includee a link right here, listing all the charities relating to Hurricane Sandy damage relief.
If you have nothing to offer right now, which is understandable, because we have our own problems to deal with, I ask that you help to spread the word. Let people know about this post and the charities that I linked to. This post will be going out on my Facebook page and also on Twitter. Please do what you can do to spread the word via social media. Let’s make sure everyone has a place to stay, clothing, food, and water.
My first check is going out tomorrow to someone who desperately needs it. It’s part of the money I raised from the Bonhams auction. I’m not waiting for the Bonhams check to come in.
I speak for all of the people who need your help and say “thank you” to those of you who can help.