Sometimes you just want to help. Many times you don't know how. At least that's how it is for me.
We see these big, life changing natural disasters on the news and think, "wow." We want to help, but it's far away. We aren't sure what to do, so we go about living our own lives.
Except this time the natural disaster was here. This time the hurricane devastated towns that are a 30 minute drive from me.
I had the same thoughts of, "oh, I want to do something," but no excuses this time because it was here.
I kept my eye on Jersey Shore Hurricane News' Facebook page as people posted what was needed (or not needed) where. The need for clothes was fulfilled quickly. I didn't feel I could appropriately help with gutting homes because I have a toddler in tow at all times.
Then a friend posted on Facebook some needs for her local township: baby supplies, cleaning supplies, new socks and underwear.
A specific need with a specific location and I could follow up with her for details.
A few days later another friend and I packed our kiddos in the minivan and made a trip. We stopped at Walmart to stock up.
We had diapers in four sizes, wipes, bleach, ammonia, spray bottles, sponges, rags, paper towels, trash bags, toilet paper, water, socks, feminine supplies, pain reliever, children's pain reliever, and lip balm.
Such simple things that some people don't have anymore.
We loaded up the trunk of the van and we were on our way to Lake Como Borough Hall where individuals and fire/first aid companies have been showing up for supplies. When we arrived, they had just given out their last roll of paper towels.
I used that word last week and I'm using it again because it's the only thing I keep thinking about this whole thing.
Before we left for home, we drove around Lake Como and neighboring Belmar to see how things looked.
Lined up on the shore were piles of debris like these. The ocean is in the background. Somewhere.
In front of the homes a few blocks in-land, the results of their clean up efforts line the streets.
It's hard to see the destruction, yet inspiring to see the work that has already been done.
I'm headed back to Belmar and Lake Como tomorrow, this time to help redistribute supplies to other shelters.