A Salute to New Jerseyans Who Exemplified Heroism and Kindness in the Wake of the Storm
In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, ordinary New Jerseyans performed extraordinary acts to help their neighbors and, in many cases, complete strangers, survive and ride out one of the worst storms in Garden State history. Whether it was rescuing neighbors, delivering food, providing shelter or helping clean and repair damaged homes, these New Jerseyans exemplified heroism and kindness.
This is the kind of spirit that makes New Jersey what it is. We believe these acts must be remembered – and shared.
So, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce has established the Superstorm Sandy Hero Project, an oral history of heroic acts in the wake of the storm. We collected inspirational stories from people all over New Jersey who were asked to describe their own superstorm heroes. The response was stronger than we expected.
The project's mission is to recognize the heroes, and to preserve these memories so generations can remember the true grit New Jerseyans showed during the Storm of 2012.
Submitted by: Stefanie Cain
Scott Seidel, the store manager of the Stop & Shop in Long Branch, checked in on all store associates to ensure they were safe. For one associate who lost everything, Scott made sure she had her medicine, personal belongings and rides to appointments. Even with damage to his own home, Scott delivered food to customers, shelters and senior centers for three days. He made sure the emergency management team had food and supplies for weeks, and he helped his associates with forms needed to get money through the Helping Hands Fund at Stop and Shop. Scott, who coaches a local football team, is seen by the community as a top leader.
Submitted by: Valerie Montecalvo
Rosemary was diagnosed with endometrial cancer and completed her chemotherapy three weeks before Sandy hit our area. Still, after the storm, Rosemary went to the local firehouse to help, and was appointed to be volunteer donation coordinator. She raised funds to help displaced residents and has distributed items like sheetrock, bedding, beds, cleaning supplies—all the things that people need to become whole again. Rosemary is a highly respected leader of our community who works hard to help those impacted by Sandy's destruction.
Submitted by: Shonda Levine-Ouji
Fatihah and Abdul made us feel comfortable with grace.
A big branch from a tree fell on the front portion of our house, slicing off the front of the house and exposing it to the street. My husband, 11-year-old daughter and I found refuge at my neighbor's home where we were welcomed with open arms, kindness and acceptance for a week until we were able to secure housing at a hotel. It didn't matter that they too were in the dark. It didn't matter that our neighbors have seven children ages 5 months to 11 years old. Fatihah and Abdul made us feel comfortable with grace. We are displaced but not discouraged.
Hometown: Toms River
Submitted by: Jennifer Katz
Since Thanksgiving, Jennifer has organized volunteers to clean homes, move sand and remove debris - giving hope and help to many.
My Hero: Scott Seidel
Hometown: Jackson Submitted by: Stefanie Cain Scott Seidel, the store manager of the Stop & Shop in...
My Hero: Rosemary Ryan
Hometown: Highlands Submitted by: Valerie Montecalvo Rosemary was diagnosed with endometrial...
My Hero: Fatihah and Abdul Kareem Ouedraogo and family
Hometown: Roselle Submitted by: Shonda Levine-Ouji Fatihah and Abdul made us feel comfortable with...
My Hero: Joan DeLucia
Hometown: Toms River Submitted by: Jennifer Katz Since Thanksgiving, Jennifer has organized...
My Hero: Leo Cervantes
Hometown: Highlands Submitted by: Alex Aristizabel Leo lost his restaurant "Chilangos" after the...
My Hero: The people of Slidell, Louisiana and the Amtrak “Train of Hope”
Hometown: Slidell, Louisiana Submitted by: Ray Zardetto The people of Slidell, Louisiana, were hit hard...
My Hero: Meadowlands Basket Brigade
Hometown: Lodi Submitted by: Lauren Turiello With families in Little Ferry and Moonachie left...
My Hero: Utility Workers
Submitted by: Jennifer Kramer PSE&G has faced many a daunting storm, but the utility has never...
My Hero: Thomas Boyd
Police Chief, Seaside Heights Featured in People magazine (November 19, 2012) We saved a...
My Hero: Aristotle Alafouzos
Hometown: Point Pleasant Beach Submitted by: Barry Vankat Aris is the proprietor of Perk's Café in...
My Hero: Dr. Philip M. Bonaparte, Horizon NJ Health
Hometown: Millstone Submitted by: John Passuth Dr. Bonaparte tended to every man, woman and child as...
My Hero: Mary Figueroa
Hometown: Brick Submitted by: Cathy Mamola, Director Bayada Home Health Care Mary parked her car...
My Hero: The Anonymous People Who Took Action
Hometown: Everywhere Submitted by: Joe Paradise, of Point Pleasant Beach Sandy bruised our...
My Hero: Tina Iervolina
Hometown: East Hanover Submitted by: Scott Waulters Tina helps UnitedHealthcare members get...
My Hero: Kristie Lindblom
Hometown: Pittsburgh Submitted by: Ken Orchard My daughter Kristie grew up in New Jersey and...
My Hero: Jay Gillian, Brian Roberts and Drew Fasy
Hometown: Ocean City Submitted by: Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce Jay Gillian, Mayor of...
My Hero: Maureen Corrado
Hometown: Jersey City Submitted by: Mark Rabson Several feet of storm water flooded the first...
My Hero: Joe Driscoll
Hometown: Toms River Submitted by: Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande Rebuild the Jersey Shore...
My Hero: Chris Andrulis and Patti Barber
Hometown: Toms River Submitted by: Ryan Chamberlain In addition to coordinating food and clothing...
My Hero: Regina Coyle
Hometown: Little Ferry Submitted by: Angela Daidone Regina Coyle, president of Felician College’s Alumni...
My Hero: The Honors Societies at Bloomfield College
Hometown: Bloomfield Submitted by: Jill Alexander The honors students and the campus honors...
My Hero: Linda and Gregg Harrsch
Hometown: Moonachie Submitted by: Bill McColl They gave neighbors a place to sleep and shower for...
My Hero: Dennis D. Morgan II
Hometown: Newark Submitted by: Denise Rivas-Morgan Meals were provided to hundreds residents per...
My Hero: Pauly Kourtis
Hometown: New Brunswick Submitted by: Jean Holtz The Fresh Grocer postponed the grand opening of...
My Hero: Jessica “Jesse” Burns
Hometown: Lakewood Submitted by: Nicholas Intromasso Jesse helped make sure that the storm did not...
My Hero: Squan Strong
Hometown: Manasquan Submitted by: Mike Sinneck The Squan Strong team, led by Dana and Melissa,...
My Hero: Staff Sgt. Katie Cataldo and Specialist Jesse de la Cruz
Foxtrot Company, New Jersey National Guard Introduced by U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez at New Jersey Chamber...
My Hero: Jay Price, Manasquan Fire Department
Hometown: Manasquan Introduced by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith at New Jersey Chamber Congressional...
My Hero: Mike Hernandez, Sounds to Go DJs
Hometown: Red Bank Introduced by Gov. Chris Christie at New Jersey Chamber Congressional Dinner, Jan....
My Hero: Father C. John Thompson-Quartey
St. Mary's by the Sea Episcopal Church in Point Pleasant Beach Introduced by New Jersey Chamber...
My Hero: Chris Wood
Woody's Ocean Grille, Sea Bright Introduced by U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg at New Jersey Chamber...
My Hero: The Employees of Flexline
Hometown: Linden Submitted by: Jeff Scheininger They stayed at their stations and kept working long...
My Hero: Avi Levy, COO, Pish Posh Baby
Hometown: Lakewood Submitted by: Larry Krampf Pish Posh Baby, a baby gear retailer in Jackson...
My Hero: Jetty and Waves4Water
Hometown: Little Egg Harbor Submitted by: Patty Karlowitsch, Anne Spillane, and George and Sandra S....
My Hero: Marsha Hedgepeth
Hometown: Toms River Gov. Chris Christie's State of the State address, January 8 Marsha swam to...
My Hero: Tracey Keelen and Jay Gehweiler
Hometown: Brick Gov. Chris Christie's State of the State address, January 8 Tracey Keelen and Jay...
My Hero: Christine Noble, South Amboy Councilwoman
Hometown: South Amboy Submitted By: South Amboy Mayor Fred Henry Christine kicked into action as soon...
My Hero: Larry Inserra
Hometown: Saddle River Submitted by: Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi Larry opened his supermarkets to the...