Toms River schools, police, advocates unite for Harvey survivors
With images of Sandy's wreckage still etched in their minds, and knowing that Harvey's destruction in southeastern Texas is worse, students, faculty and staffers of the Toms River Regional School District are spearheading several simultaneous efforts to support hurricane survivors in the Lone Star State.
Under the umbrella theme "From One Community To Another," the school system has engaged township police and the People's Pantry in its series of initiatives and drives.
"Toms River residents who experienced the devastation of Sandy know all too well what folks in Texas are experiencing," Superintendent David Healy said in prepared comments.
"For all of its destruction and havoc, Sandy proved that no one responds better in crisis than the Toms River community, and we feel it's our duty to join together and support our friends in Texas who are having their lives turned upside down by Hurricane Harvey."
It begins with Jeans Day, September 15, when staffers and administrators who donate $5 will enjoy a day of relaxed attire. The contributions are being directed to the United Way of Greater Houston.
All through October, district officials will emply the NEA Big Read literacy program as a platform for soliciting donations for the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group, still working feverishly to help Superstorm survivors regroup their homes and lives, and for southeast Texas.
The month-long program centers on the novel Station Eleven, which team leaders are using as a launch point for reflections of what has transpired in the five years since Sandy.
The district, Toms River Police Department and People's Pantry jointly created Toms River For Texas, a centralized donation system for items sorely needed by Hurricane Harvey victims.