Monday, November 5, 2012

Jersey Strong: Restore. Rebuild. Recover

Relief Aid for Hurricane Sandy Victims in NJ
Ok, enough whining on my end.  Despite all the devastation on the East Coast, it is now time to pick myself up by bootstraps and move on.  Since all my friends and family back on the Jersey Shore are already doing so, I think need to do it as well.  But, being able to lend a helping hand has made this possible for me and made me feel so good in the process.
My friend Lisa Pedersen shared a post from another Jersey girl on Facebook.  Laurie Banach Wisniewski, who lives in Redondo Beach but originally hails from Toms River, NJ, spearheaded a Hurricane Sandy relief effort for New Jersey.  Laurie's husband owns a trucking company and the goal was to fill the tractor trailer with provisions for one of the areas hardest hit -- Laurie's own Toms River.
I did not even see the post until I was at my son's soccer game on Saturday afternoon; I even missed my little guys goal since I was completely obsessed with figuring out how I could help.
In the 11th hour, I was able to rally a few girlfriends -- thank you Tracey, Chana, Jessica, Lisa, and Amanda -- for helping me fill my Toyota FJ to the hilt with clothing, non-perishable food, toiletries, cleaning products, and batteries.  I arrived at Laurie's home around noon and it was "organized chaos" to say the least.
Laurie's amazing group of neighbors and friends were there to help. I was grateful and so appreciative of my BFF Rachel who, of course, showed up to help work side-by-side with me on this important cause.  I also met Laurie's neighbor Janet, a former New Jersey resident, who showed her perseverance.  We commiserated about how strong and tenacious people from New Jersey can be and how they will rebuild one of the most beautiful coastlines -- similar to our own South Bay.
One true example of this is Laurie.  She is one amazing chick as she toggled between helping coordinate her volunteers and taking care of her 4-month old triplets.  She is an inspiration to me for sure.  Overall, I was so happy to be able to help my people back home and meet other wonderful folks from the South Bay united for a great cause.
As I packed up those boxes, I couldn't help but have tears in my eyes for my Motherland.  But I know that she and her people are resilient and they will restore, rebuild and recover because they are "Jersey Strong." 

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