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All posts in 2014

18 Aug 2014

How Mary Pat Christie’s Sandy relief fund has spent nearly $33.8M in donations

As the two-year mark to Hurricane Sandy’s landfall on the East Coast approaches, the charity launched by New Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christie in the days after the storm is gearing up to hand out its remaining money.

The Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund has so far awarded nearly 85 percent of the $40 million donated from more than 30,000 corporations and individuals, including $2.5 million from the fuel company Hess and a $1 million contribution from Jon Bon Jovi and his band.

17 Jul 2014

Sandy charities filling repair needs

Joann Squeo leans up against the gray aluminum siding of the Keansburg home she grew up in, the home where she raised her kids, the home she was forced out of by superstorm Sandy and the home that she quite reasonably wondered if it was slipping out of her grasp forever.

“There’s a lot of memories here. … I wouldn’t know where to go,” she said in the backyard of her Forest Avenue home last month.

For the last 20 months, she was never more than a few miles from the house — living in area hotels at first, then back into the unfinished home and now a rental house in another section of Keansburg — but it might as well have been across the country. For the longest time, Squeo, 56, who lives with two adult children and her longtime partner, didn’t know where to turn for help. The Squeos spent every penny they had, and then racked up considerable credit card debt. They were victimized by the well-meaning and the malicious alike and rejected by the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation program (RREM) on what the family says was a technicality.

25 May 2014

Charity organizations help family get home

12 May 2014

NJ Sandy victims struggling to rebuild turning to community-based recovery groups

It’s been more than 18 months since Hurricane Sandy flooded the Pacific Street property that Woods, a supervisor for UPS, and his wife, April, an EMT, said they scraped together enough money to buy by surviving on hot dogs and peanut butter sandwiches about seven years ago.

21 Apr 2014

In it for the long term: Sandy recovery groups still seeking volunteers


Home owner Sarah Huff (center) talks with Michael Wimmer Sr. from The Salvation Army at the work site. Tuesday April 8 2014 Volunteers from the county Long Term Recovery Group work on a house owned by Sarah Huff in Brigantine damaged by Hurricane Sandy. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

Jill Bessey is from Maine, and she was surprised to learn how many people along the Jersey shore are still waiting for their homes to be rebuilt 18 months after Hurricane Sandy.

As co-chair of the TD Bank Volunteer Committee, she suggested volunteering at a home site as a community service activity. For two days this month, she and about a dozen TD employees from the Mount Laurel Tech Center helped build a deck at Sarah Huff’s newly raised home in Brigantine.

“There are so many people not in their homes,” she said. “We just wanted to help out.” Read More!