On Saturday morning November 10th, I drove down to Ocean City, NJ to help with the aftermath of Sandy. A little over a week and a half had past since the storm hit the Jersey coast and Ocean City was one of the lucky coastal towns. The town was largely spared major damage with flooding being the largest issue. The Hurricane Relief Center was located at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church on 8th street. The church opened up their kitchen and cafeteria for weeks after the storm to any individual and family displaced from their homes. I arrived to find an amazing group of volunteers led by a woman named Karen. The volunteers had all come from various parts of the region and simply arrived to lend a hand. We were immediately put to work preparing lunch and helping organize the donations pouring in throughout the day.
What struck me most was the amount of food being delivered from people driving all the way down the shore. There were fresh meat balls, hoagies, chocolate milk, homemade soups, sausage and peppers, salads, desserts, and even van load of fresh baked rolls from Lancaster County, PA. But the most impressive donation was from Operation Cupcake – 300 cupcakes baked by a 12 year old girl and her mother. Their slogan embodied the entire volunteer effort witnessed that day: “Nothing heals the soul like a cupcake”. Overall I was truly impressed with the outpouring of support from volunteers across our region. The uplifting experience we had truly matched the need of each storm victim.
To help in future needs, an organization has been established for the Ocean City Community called the OCNJ C.A.R.E Project, Cleanup and Recovery Effort.