By Mandy Saffer
“We are OK.” That was the most shared term by people through their Facebook posts as of Tuesday, October 30 at 10 AM (according to Mashable). These three powerful words refer to the tragic hurricane that struck the Northeast on October 29, 2012. Since Hurricane Sandy left her mark, thousands have lost their belongings, their homes and some have even lost their lives.
Now, a week after disaster struck, we are starting to see a silver lining. Power is being restored, debris is being swept away and, most impressively and importantly, people are coming out to help others in their time of need. Some say it takes a tragedy to bring out the best in people. While that may not always be the case, it certainly holds true for those in New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
The outpour of support, donations and kind words has been nothing short of miraculous in the wake of Sandy. PCG Digital Marketing’s team has been affected in multiple ways; some have lost power while others have lost almost everything. It has been sad but everyone is looking to move forward and repair his or her lives.
Darrah Raneri, PCG’s Social Media Coordinator, has done an incredible job working towards helping those in need. She has partnered with her father’s liquor store, Bethany Wine & Liquors in Hazlet, New Jersey, to collect donations.
What started with a simple Facebook post offering an incentive for donations has turned into nothing short of amazing. On October 30, she posted an offer on the company’s Facebook page for anyone visiting the store: “bring in a donation and you’ll receive 10% off your purchase.” With just two buckets of items to start with, hopes were high that the support and donations would continue to arrive.
In just a short amount of time, bags upon bags of donations began piling up. The liquor store, still without power, quickly started to fill up. Donations were pouring in so quickly that it was difficult to navigate throughout the shop after just a short amount of time. Members of the community reached out by not only giving donations, but also giving their time to help separate and sort all of the items that had been received. To make efforts easier, the landlord of the building allowed the team at Bethany Wine & Liquors to use an empty space next door.
Modell’s Sporting Goods in Homdel, This Little Piggy Went To Charity in Manalapan and the Raritan High School and St. John Vianney football teams, as well as over 1,000 volunteers, came in waves to lend their hands and support. Two young boys even arrived with their piggy banks in hand to donate to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Through the efforts of Darrah, Des, Derek and Daniele Raneri and Caitlin Dwyer (the children of the two owners of the store) on Facebook, Bethany Wine & Liquors reached out to more people than imaginable. A group from Lehigh Valley, PA saw one of the posts on Facebook and sent an 18-wheeler full of demolition and cleaning supplies out to the store to assist their efforts. The kind of state-wide support seen at this store is like something out of a movie.
Once the donations were sorted and organized, it came time to personally deliver the collections to those in need.
“Our crew at Bethany Wines & Liquors drove through some of the worst areas imaginable,” explained Darrah. “We were able to hand these supplies directly to Sandy victims. We’ve never hugged so many strangers in our lives; the tears didn’t start rolling in until I saw these people.”
The efforts from Darrah, her family, the liquor store and the entire community will help hundreds of people who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Visit their Facebook page to see heartwarming photos of donations and those who gave their time and energy to help.
We’re proud to say this is one instance out of many in New Jersey, New York and the surrounding areas to help those in their greatest time of need.
Our team is still working towards collecting items for those in need. It’s easy and simple to donate to help relief efforts, no matter where you are located. Visit www.redcross.org for information or text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to donate $10 right from your phone. We encourage those who can to donate in any way they can to help keep everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy “Jersey Strong.”