Family sought a way to help after Sandy

Staff Writer

Before trees were cleared from the roads and power was restored following the destructive power of Post-Tropical Storm Sandy, people from across the country began gathering their resources to help the embattled Jersey Shore.

With images of the unprecedented destruction wrought upon the Jersey Shore by the Oct. 29 storm peppering thousands of Facebook feeds, a large portion of the relief effort has taken to the Internet.

So on Nov. 3, when Nancy DiPasquale of Cream Ridge took to the Allentown- Upper Freehold Township Facebook page to offer her assistance to people who wanted to donate items to the relief effort, she said she knew there would be a response.

For the DiPasquale family, the Sandy relief effort has a more personal meaning, because their Belmar vacation home was in the storm’s flood zone.

Although their home remained intact following the storm surge and high-speed winds, Nancy said other areas of their neighborhood in the Monmouth County shore resort were not so lucky.

“The boardwalk went right up to our door,” she said. “It’s strange when you are familiar with the area … and you see that people can’t live there any longer. It’s heartbreaking.”

Flanked by her husband, Henry, and her son, Colin, 7, DiPasquale said they went to Byron Johnson Park in Allentown to receive donations they would drive to an outlet mall in Manasquan.

“Within one hour, we packed our two cars, one of which is an SUV,” DiPasquale said. “Since then, we still have a laundry room full of our own things.”

As a result of the community’s response, a moving company based in Robbinsville, Bohren’s Moving and Storage, has donated a tractor-trailer to serve as an auxiliary drop-off location in Monmouth County.

The Upper Freehold Township Committee agreed to allow the tractor-trailer to be parked at Johnson Park overnight for a supply drive that took place on Nov. 17-18. The donated items were expected to be taken to a centrally located distribution center in Monmouth County.

“This was a kind gesture that just turned into a big deal with everyone asking, ‘How can we help?’ ” DiPasquale said.