LONG BRANCH, NJ – More than 1,000 area children and their families, many of whom are displaced and living in temporary housing in the wake of hurricane
“The outpouring of generosity has been overwhelming, especially from the local community,” White says. “For every person in need there are dozens willing to help. We received donations from school children whose classmates were impacted by Sandy, by businesses whose employees were displaced or temporarily homeless, and by neighbors who sheltered other neighbors during the storm and felt fortunate to be able to give.”
Among those who helped make this year’s Operation Sleighbells a success was 16-year-old Kyle Evans of Oceanport whose own home was flooded during
Unlike many other holiday gift-giving programs, Operation Sleighbells addresses the specific wishes of every child. Families are referred through other social service agencies and later interviewed and asked to provide the ages, size and needs of each child. This year, in addition to collecting for the children, the agency also sought new sheets, blankets, comforters, towels, pots & pans and gift cards to help those families affected by the storm get back on their feet.
Nicole Lewis, whose home in
“There is so much hardship, but there are also so many good things that have happened as a result of this storm,” Nicole says. “This program is one of them. It’s so wonderful to know that so many people want to help us.”
Many local companies and businesses also sponsored collection drives or made donations to this year’s Operation Sleighbells, including Comvault, Viecore, MSpace Holdings, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and many, many others. White says their contributions, along with the contributions of dozens of volunteers who spent countless hours sorting and bagging the donations, helped make this year's Operation Sleighbells a success. For more information about Operations Sleighbells, visit the agency’s website at www.fcsmonmouth.org or contact the agency at 732-222-9111.