Driving around in central New Jersey where things did not even compare to the shore was still heartbreaking. Houses had huge trees on them, giant trees were ripped right out of the ground, and power lines were strewn in the roads and holding up trees and poles that had fallen.
After driving around seeing the devastation to homes, once we finally got power back a week later and saw pictures of the Jersey Shore we grew up spending summers at and where our families had homes, we realized how incredibly blessed we were.
All of this lead to us moving into our apartment. Somehow, in the middle of the aftermath of Sandy, we managed to pack up our belongings, rent a moving truck (in the middle of gas shortages), and move about an hour south from where we were. After not having power, heat, or water for a week, moving into a place that had all of the above felt blissful. We didn't have internet or cable for two weeks longer, but this didn't bother us at all. We were thankful for a shower and a stove to cook on and the ability to turn on lights when it was dark!
Although we were extremely happy, it almost felt unfair that when others were losing homes, we had the ability to move into a new one. It really put a lot of things into perspective for us. As I was going through our belongings, unpacking them all and organizing, I couldn't help but think of those impacted by Sandy much more than we were.
I encourage you to join with us in continuing to pray for those who lost family, homes, memories, and belongings due to this tragic storm. There are a good deal of volunteering opportunities as well. What better time to volunteer than during the holidays and as weather is getting colder. Frank and I hope to help rebuilding efforts and clean up projects once Seaside, NJ and Lavallette, NJ are open to help. For now, they are not even allowing people to return to their homes for 6-8 months. In the meantime, there are other opportunities to serve.
American Red Cross
Hurricane Sandy Relief Foundation
In light of all that Sandy brought, this year's Thanksgiving meant more than any other before and our new home seemed more of a blessing than it would have otherwise.
What are you thankful for this year?
If you were impacted by Sandy, we sincerely hope that you and your family are safe and we extend our prayers to you.