In the wake of Superstorm Sandy a group of Princeton area professionals formed an online organization to raise funds that could be directly entirely to relief and rebuilding efforts on the New Jersey shore. The all-volunteer group, called Restore Our Shore, pledged to continue its efforts through Memorial Day weekend. The following letter was recently posted on the group’s Facebook page.
Dear Friends of Restore Our Shore:
I can’t believe it has been six months since we began the initiative to raise money for charities along the New Jersey coastline so badly affected by Hurricane Sandy last October.
Six months and $75,000 later we have funded food pantries started by ordinary citizens, food gardens planted by a church in Monmouth County, and First Aid Squads who were unable to be first responders due to lack of communications equipment. We have given funds for multiple beach cleanups and $526 of your donated funds went to save Diamondback Terrapins in Little Egg Harbor (we felt it was important to recognize the devastating effects of the storm to the habitat those creatures who make the NJ Coast their home).
We also funded both a Christmas dinner and an Easter celebration hoping to create good memories for people who were displaced from their homes. There are countless other projects we helped out and hope you’ll check in on our “news” page to read about all them. There you will also find highlights from events that were held steering donations our way. We are grateful for everyone who has lent a hand to help us raise funds.
Though we began as a team of four we quickly grew to 11. We were guided by the indefatigable Judy Harr Shane from the Joshua Harr Shane Foundation who worked with us to keep everything legitimate and the very smart Mindy Heckendorn from MH Financial who held us to the penny that 100 percent of your donations have gone back to charities. We are pretty proud of that. Please have a look at our “about” page for a listing of our team members who gave and gave and gave. Nothing would have been possible for Restore Our Shore without them.
When we began this journey we knew it would have an end. We are fast approaching Memorial Day, our agreed upon date for Restore Our Shore to finish up our good work. We will continue to take donations through Memorial Day and then will continue to disburse funds to amazing Shore charities until the money is gone. We will continue to accept donations via our website — www.restoreourshore.com — until midnight on Memorial Day.
Thank you for helping us to help those most in need over the past six months. See you on the beach this summer.
Melissa Hall Klepacki
In addition to those mentioned above other members of the team include Ali Cox, Bill Schofield, Heather Alkhateeb-Dunnigan, Jacqui Alexander, Leslie Gardiner Pell, and Hilary Morris.