This Thanksgiving: Where There Is a Will - There Is a Way

Yesterday afternoon, I spoke with my Godmother who lives in Spring Lake, New Jersey. Thankfully, her home and area were spared from Sandy's wrath. The only daily necessity she had to do without for a bit was electricity, but other family members came to take her to their home in Central Jersey when the NorEaster had arrived. She told how over the weekend she drove to the shore and saw the devastation - it's not like how we see in the news when you're there first hand. And some areas, like Belmar are still closed off, condemned to the public or even the home owners. Although many trees have been removed from blocking roads, their cut up limbs are stilled piled high along the roadsides. Some areas are so badly damaged, they will be needing to just be bull dozed and taken to a landfill.

It's going to take a long time to recover and rebuild - but my Godmother did say that with people like Governor Chris Christie leading the rebuilding efforts, it will go as quick as possible because he will push to make it happen. She also said, listening to him on her radio when she was tired, cold and without power brought her the most comfort because he cares. What is sad to see, hear and read though are the many who were not effected (meaning not living in that state) have already forgotten. And with the holidays upon us, from Thanksgiving, to Christmas to Hanukkah, this is no time to be forgetting how disrupted our north east neighbors lives are.

“We know Thanksgiving is an important and symbolic holiday for those of us in America,” Rodriguez said. “But this year, this particular Thanksgiving on the heels of Sandy, this may be the very first hot meals families will be able to have together.”

Always look at the sunny side of life couldn't be more true after ready about the free Thanksgiving Dinner available to New Jersey Survivors of Sandy: "Thanksgiving on the Jersey Shore would have been a tough holiday this year for many families even without superstorm Sandy. Before the storm, The Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties fed one in 10 residents of both counties combined, about 127,000 people routinely throughout the year. Since the storm, that figure has doubled, officials for the food bank said Tuesday." Although most restaurants along the shore aren't able to open, places further inland will be open. If by chance you live in New Jersey, you can help by inviting Sandy Survivors to your home for Thanksgiving by send the time, date, location, other details and contact information in an email to Also please note if you are looking for volunteers and any contact information for that.

To read more about the free Thanksgiving Dinners being served to Sandy Survivors, go to: - Asbury Park Press.

 Ocean Avenue, NJ

Kindness continued, but not always reported in the news: Even affected stores have been helping each other out. An old District Manager of mine (and Jeff's) we worked with in at JCPenney (JCP) in Florida is currently the Regional Leader for JCP up in the north east area. Mr. Paxton toured 18 JCP stores between the NY and NJ areas hit with the storm. Upon arrival, he worked with other JCP team associates to deliver 80,000 coats and 10,000 blankets donated from departments across the JCP company to the American Red Cross. Today and tomorrow, JCP will provide hot Thanksgiving meals for 17 team members and their families who are still without power.

This Thanksgiving, while your perfecting your tablescapes, be extra grateful for all that you have and say a prayer for those who may have lost everything.

 Thank you for stopping by...

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