I’ve been trying to help Jackie O’Leary with the massive volume of emails from the incredibly generous people throughout our country that have so quickly offered to help Operation Jersey Shore Santa. I’m also helping to answer the gift requests from the Jersey Shore families. The past 6 weeks have been so difficult for these families.They have expressed so much gratitude and have asked for such simple things for their children. They all want to get their lives back on track and try to preserve the holiday spirit for their children. Jackie and her crew of volunteers is working as fast as possible to fulfill these requests. Tomorrow marks the last day for drop offs and then onto the big push to sort, wrap, bag and delivery the gifts to these families. 

Yesterday afternoon while working on all the emails Jackie and I heard about the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Last night I heard President Obama talk about all the things these children will never live to see and experience and I thought of the sunrise I had gotten up to catch at Point Pleasant in the morning. Those children will never live to see the sunrise on another day and experience any of the joys their lives could have given to them and their families. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.


We can’t control “Mother Nature”. We can plan to survive natural disasters like Sandy. We can recover and rebuild but how do these families recover from a senseless tragedy like this?  I hope that somehow the deaths of these sweet little ones and the adults will finally wake up our country and make the government take clear and decisive action to prevent these types of horrific tragedies. 

Everyone at the Jersey Shore is thinking about these families and we all send love, comfort and prayers for healing to them during this time of great sorrow.

Janis H. Iwanyk

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...