Hurricane Sandy Relief: A member’s note of gratitude

Published on Thursday, May 30, 2013

Members pack school supplies for displaced students 

Seaside Heights EA members from Boyd Elementary School organize supplied donated to them by NJEA members from across New Jersey. Donations also included new materials purchased through the NJEA Hurricane Sandy Back to School Fund.

There are times when the words THANK YOU are simply not enough to express my feelings. This is one of those times.

Super Storm Sandy affected most of us across the state. The storm damaged homes, schools and communities, but not our spirit.

Hugh J Boyd Jr Elementary School in Seaside Heights is located between the Barnegat Bay and the ocean.  The island had a mandatory evacuation. The storm flooded the town and devastated property. 

That's when NJEA sprang into action. Within days of the storm there was a county union president's meeting to address the immediate needs of our members and school.

Seaside Heights School District is in partnership with Central Regional School District. They opened their doors to us. They cleared out a wing in the high school for us to use as our new school.

When our new school opened on Nov. 12 we were ready.  Each returning student received a new backpack filled with school supplies, thanks to NJEA. On the first day about 50 students arrived. Since no one was allowed to return to the island yet, many of our staff reported to work not knowing the fate of their homes.

NJEA had a wonderful plan to help - NJEA Member to Member. We were asked to create a list of items needed.  It could be school supplies or personal items to replace things lost in the storm. The response was overwhelming. NJEA members individually as well as local associations provided much needed support to our members and learning community.  Student NJEA sent needed school supplies. Even now, this many months after the storm, we continue to receive Member to Member support.

This school year has shown the strength and generosity of NJEA. They are truly the heart and soul of our schools. Thank you all, near and far, for all you have done for the students and staff of HJB.

Kathleen Ruprecht
Co-president of the Seaside Heights Education Association

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