Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My heart is full



First of all, I really have to apologize for not posting sooner. Of course my sparse blogging isn't without good reason. We are still very much immersed in recovering from the ubiquitous Hurricane Sandy. And so is everyone around us. It's an all-consuming tragedy. So thats why I'm so surprised to hear from my Facebook friends across the country that Hurricane Sandy isn't exactly front page news anymore. I mean, I get it...life must go on. And me and Aaron are really trying to get ours back in order. We're poring over invoices, making supply lists, cleaning and organizing the studio, and diligently trying to catch up on the thousand or so emails! But there's only so much we can do with our entire house turned upside down. As I stated prior, our ground floor was flooded and all of the floors need to be ripped up and replaced. There are a bunch of other things as well, but this is the most pressing issue...with the ticking time bomb of mold setting in, and the stink of the floorboards growing worse each day. And we've met with an insurance guy, and a fema gal, but we have yet to meet with the "flood guy" (that's all I've been calling him.) Yes, the "flood guy" isn't scheduled to be here for another ten days! And he is who stands between us and new floors. We can't rip these ones out until we get approved for the funds by the insurance company...and the "flood guy". So, with that on our minds every waking minute we are still trying hard to move forward and get back into some heavy duty creativity. We are inspired and on fire!
But, being proud New Jerseyans, here's one thing we're not going to do: We are not going to move forward and forget all about our friends and neighbors who lost everything.  And apparently, so many of you amazing people share our feelings. Holy cow! The outpouring of love and support for Sandy victims just brings me to tears! I am very active on Facebook. I've surpassed the amount of Facebook friends that one can acquire, so in order to continue accepting friend requests I actually had to create a second Jenny Holiday page. 
Ok, so I have been updating my Facebook page pretty frequently after finally getting our power back on a week after the storm. I've just been letting everyone know exactly what happened to us and I've been sharing some pics of the aftermath in our small town and the surrounding communities. Right away my Facebook friends contacted me. First, they wanted to thank me for sharing these stories because they said the Hurricane Sandy coverage had pretty much disappeared from the national news. Being in the center of it all, it's hard to believe that people all over the country aren't hearing about our struggle each and every day. But, like I said...life must go on. 
And once again...my Facebook friends were amazing and stated loud and clear that they weren't going to just let "life go on". Not if there are thousands of people without homes, or food, or heat, or clothes. People around me lost EVERYTHING! Instantly my Facebook friends had one question for me: 
"Hey Jenny, what is your mailing address?"  
So like any good friend would do...I provided them with the info they requested. Next thing I know...I was inundated with packages...packages shipped from all over the country. One amazing gal who lives close by actually drove here to meet us with a truck absolutely full of stuff. Facebook friends have been shopping on Walmart.com and Target.com and having the orders shipped directly to my address.  Me and Aaron have been in tears for days now...we just can't believe how amazing people can be in times like this.



Toothpaste and brushes by the case, paper towel rolls by the dozen, cleaning products, soap, dish and laundry detergent, bleach, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, hand sanitizer, all sorts of food, snacks, kids toys, art and craft supplies, garbage bags, razors, shaving cream, deodorant, tissues, sponges, rubber gloves, brand new clothes and shoes, and boots, jeez...just anything and everything that people who lost everything would need! Our hearts were and still are absolutely brimming with joy and we're so proud to have friends like this. 

Once we got all this stuff we had to find out how to best distribute it to those who need it the most. We made a bunch of phone calls and looked around for places. And after some research we found that the absolute best venue was pretty much right around the corner form our house. Our local American Legion is set up as a "shopping center" for victims of Hurricane Sandy...but at this shopping center everything is free.



Me and Aaron got together with Aaron's parents, loaded up both of their cars and made several trips over there. When we showed up with our arms loaded with boxes, the volunteers at the American Legion were head over heels thrilled to see us! They were actually running low on goods and were about to start turning the needy people away...until we showed up! They thanked us again and again...and we told them that we're merely the delivery guys...all this stuff comes from our dear friends across the country... from our customers and collectors, people from the art and craft community, church groups, classic car clubs, bloggers...just a whole bunch of really amazing people! 

More boxes keep on arriving and we hope that they'll continue to arrive in the days and weeks to come. And as long as they come we'll continue to get the goods into the hands of those who need it the most. It was so great to see. Literally, so much of the stuff didn't even get a chance to hit the table. Before we could even set it down there were people there just waiting to take it. It felt so so good! I went right home and relayed all of this to everyone who had sent us the stuff. I wish they could've been there to experience it first hand. I really can't thank everyone enough for making all of this possible. 

Ok, I really just wanted to share this with you guys. I am absolutely exhausted and I can't wait to start having some "normal" days again. It's been one heck of a roller coaster. My emotions have been turned up to ten. I'll keep you guys posted and I'll check back in much more frequently. Thanks so much to all of you for all of your support! Me and Aaron really couldn't be more grateful.
Love from the Jersey Shore
xoxo, Jenny   

16 comments:

  1. What a wonderful outpouring of love and kindness from so many friends and fans! And unfortuinately, it is true. The only things I hear about Sandy pretty much after Halloween is via blogs like yours and friends on IG posting photos. I guess with the election and Elmo in the news, people have moved on. But please keep us posted via your blog posts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ~*WONDERFUL!!!*~
    So good to see people sharing and caring!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What an amazing account, thanks so much for sharing your story, Jenny. All of the love and support we can show one another, be it large or small, is so vital....so touching. A true outpouring of love indeed.

    I'll be thinking of you.
    XO
    Ciao Bella
    Carmelina

    ReplyDelete
  4. So glad that your community is getting help, you know it demonstrates how you guys are loved, that you are not just a name on a facebook friends list...people all over LOVE you, they want to help you and yours because of that love...keep smiling, love you x

    ReplyDelete
  5. If I lived in the US, I would definitely be sending all my de-cluttered things to this "shopping centre"! Anything for a good cause.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jenny...I have been collecting some money from a few friends. What do you need the most right now? (and I need your address).

    Hugs-Peg

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hurricane Sandy may not be front cover news to the rest of the world, but to the East Coast and those of us who have friends and families out there - this is very much front page of our hearts. The generosity being sent your and Aaron's way for distribution is renewing my faith in the good in people! Keep up the great work, and you and Aaron will come out of this stronger and even more determined! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!! What an AMAZING story and just love that you were able to share with that group!! TFS!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Marvelous to know donations are making their way to those in need!

    On an entirely practical note, we had a very similar situation with our basement, though it was just typical Tennessee flooding, not storm related. We also had to wait for insurance folks et al before we could do anything. To hold down the mold while we waited, we sprayed the walls & floors with lavender bleach diluted with a smidge of water. It killed the mold spores & helped with the smell without changing anything {to preserve it for the adjusters}. Don't know if that will help, but it might be worth giving a shot!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Jenny, is there anything that the American Legion people said that they're really in need of besides what you already took in so that we know what to send? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Jenny & Aaron - I've been following your story, and others devastated by this crazy storm, so heartbreaking...My hubby's company is actually down in Queens helping with the relief there (disaster restoration.) I asked him what you should do about your floors - he said to get all wet things out, and spray floor with a 50/50 water & bleach solution - mold starts after 72 hrs. If you can't rip the floor boards up (which I'm sure you can't,) then try to keep that part of house closed off, open windows and get your hands on a dehumidifier. Hope that helps, I know help is coming slower than it's needed. Thinking of you all - xo

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have been humbled by your stories and journey I am in the UK so I could never begin to understand what you are all going through, but I am really sad that some people 'don't think its front page news anymore'... I would be crushed to go through what many are right now.

    I was so glad to read about the good side, please continue to share your story it deserves to be heard x

    ReplyDelete
  13. eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! it's queen of flat rate. I just wandered onto your blog and I would like to send you some $ and two baby quilts I made, to donate to victims. I was going to send them to a warehouse, but it might be a long time before they get to cold babies. you could take them to the DC. would that be ok? what's your mailing address?

    ReplyDelete
  14. this is beyond fantastic! see what sharing your art with the world has done? it's made you a friend to many. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Can I get your address too and find out what you need most, either you or the store you are supplying? Underware? Warm socks? sweaters? soap? If you still want stuff sent, please let me know and I will send some too....

    ReplyDelete
  16. It's amazing how in a time of need people step up and help out, it makes you realize that all isn't lost yet :) So happy that you have been able to be a part of the positive side of Sandy, lots of love

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for reading! We absolutely love to hear from you guys...so please leave a comment if the mood strikes you, or if you have any questions for us about a recipe, project, art supply , paint color, etc. Don't panic if your comment doesn't appear right away...we moderate all comments to avoid getting tons of spam. Thanks again!!
xo Jenny & Aaron