Friday, November 2, 2012

Giving Back

There is a little girl named Victoria who is getting ready to celebrate a birthday.  She lives at the Jersey Shore, in the small beachfront community of Union Beach. A community that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy.  This is a community that I once called home.  I remember as a little girl preparing for hurricanes and helping my sister put X's in tape on the windows.  This is a community that has never experienced destruction like this.  This special little girl is turning 9 on November 18th.  Her birthday wish this year is not for a new bike, or wii game, doll or toy.  She has a wish for her best friend Dakota.  Dakota also lives in this same town.  Not too far from his friend, Victoria.  Dakota is 8 and lives in this town with his mom, his 5 year old sister and his 12 year old brother.  You see, Dakota's family lost everything in Sandy, and I mean everything.  They lost their house and all their possessions.  This special little girl wants to make things right for Dakota and his family.  Her birthday wish is for her friend to have some normalcy.  To have food, shelter and warmth.  This soon to be 9 year old is making it her life's mission to collect anything and everything for her friend's family: clothing, blankets, food, dishes, utensils, etc.  Take a minute and think about the things in your home.  The things that you use everyday.  Now imagine them all gone.  That favorite family picture sitting on the fireplace, your daughter's favorite stuffed animal, the coffee mug your son made you.  Gone. All gone in an instant.  Now, I'm sure you are saying that these items are just things, but to a family, to a child, they are treasures, they are memories.  In addition to their treasures, they lost items that everyone takes for granted: blankets, coats, furniture, food, etc.

How can we help?  If you are local to the community, the family is accepting donations.  If you have clothes, winter coats or household goods that is fantastic.  If you are not local, but can send a store gift card (Walmart, Kohls, Target, Kmart) that would be fantastic.  If you would like to make a monetary donation and send $5 or $10 or $15 that is fantastic too. Please make checks payable to: C.Torres.   Please mail gift cards and/or monetary donations to:

American Gateway
PO Box 286
Colts Neck, NJ 07722

attn: Victoria

If you have items to donate to the family, please post a comment below or send an email to me at and I will put you in touch.

Please include Dakota's family in your prayers. Every little bit helps.  Every little bit makes a difference.  This is the first time I have ever posted any sort of request like this on my blog.  I would like you to know that I was not asked to do this. Like all my posts, I am not being compensated. This is not a scam.  Any donations will be made directly to Dakota's family and go directly to Dakota's family.  I learned about Dakota's story from the birthday girl's mom, who is a family friend. A friend I have known my entire life. 

I was moved to tears by this story.  I was moved to give back.

This is what is left of Dakota's house on Brooke Avenue, in Union Beach

The Torres Kids.
This is Dakota (8) with his little sister Gabby (5) and big brother Jose (12)

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