Hurricane Sandy Relief Initiative

Project Overview


Waves for Water has coordinated a full-fledged Hurricane Relief Initiative in response to Super Storm Sandy that has absolutely decimated the North Eastern seaboard.

Though we normally focus on clean water, this time we will be addressing the initial survival needs on many levels from first responder assistance to rubble removal and ultimately the rebuilding efforts. We have extensive experience with disaster relief that puts us in a unique position to help organize, mobilize and deploy a strategic response initiative for the victims of Sandy.

We will be focusing primarily on the surf-based coastal communities in Jersey and NY to start. We look at W4W effort specifically as a vessel for the surf community to funnel their support through, specifically addressing the families and businesses of the surf communities that were wiped out.

W4W will serve as a bridge connecting the global surf community directly to our brothers and sisters in need along the East Coast that have been the pillars of their community for generations. It’ll be a long road… but one foot in front of the other, we will get there…

Oct 28 - 2013One Year Anniversary of Catastrophic Hurricane Sandy


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We are just approaching the one year anniversary of this catastrophic storm and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the people who have worked so hard helping to get these communities back on their feet. I'm proud of my team and the countless individuals from each and every one of these towns we've worked in. Let me make something VERY clear - these towns are being rebuilt by their own residents, period. If we've played a part, it's been just as facilitators. The true grit has come from the locals who rose to the occasion and put their head down to do what needed to be done - for them, and their neighbors in need. Throughout this project I've seen the very best of what humanity has to offer... and I've also seen immense heartbreak and despair. But the one thing that resonates the most for me is the realization that no matter what we are all in this together. Not just something like Sandy, but life as a whole. We are a dynamic species with incredible strength and compassion... and when we collectively embark on something - there is absolutely NOTHING we can't do. Ha...! I sound like a football coach giving a halftime pep-talk...! But all jokes aside, I've been seeing examples of this collective power we have, each and every day... and it's nothing short of remarkable.

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Now I'm gonna go even more cliche on y'all and drop a Gandhi quote, but I honestly feel it speaks to this notion that despite all the heaviness and adversity that gets thrown at us -- we will ALWAYS persevere... together.

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have won. There have always been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always." - Mahatma Gandhi

We still have an incredibly long way to go - there is conflict and strife in nearly every corner of the world, but there is also love and truth in those same corners to fight it. This is the natural order of the universe, but take it from my man, Gandhi, the latter will always prevail... always.

Big thanks to all of you who have supported our journey - with Sandy and beyond. With clean water programs in 12 countries and our Sandy initiative still going strong, we are firing on all cylinders.

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Lastly, we are just finishing up our 1 year impact report for the Sandy initiative which I'll be sending out shortly. It will also be available on our site so please feel free to spread the word. It is very in depth on the stats and details of everything we've done throughout this entire project.

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And again, BIG BIG thanks to all our partners and supporters, but I want to say a special shout out to those who made John G's rebuild possible - KIND Snacks, Home Depot, and Catholic Charities...

Thanks! JR

Oct 18 - 2013Big Thanks From W4W to Eddie Stern


When I first came to the East Coast on Nov 2, 2012 to launch our Hurricane Sandy Relief Initiative I had no idea what to expect in terms of support. I knew that we had a good network that would likely get behind us but they were just assumptions at the end of the day. In the following months we would see an incredible outpouring of support organically come in, both financial and in-kind donations. We saw the surf industry join hands and send all types of support for the surf communities hit hardest in NY/NJ. We also saw musicians like Jack Johnson, MGMT, Mike D, Yeah Yeah Yeah's, My Morning Jacket, and Mos Def come together to support our initiative. It was amazing to watch it unfold and see people from many different disciplines band together for the greater good. I have always looked at Waves For Water as an "outside the box" organization - meaning everything we do, from the implementation of our programs to our lean infrastructure. So naturally I would expect our supporters to also be "outside the box" type entities.

That said, I'd like to take this opportunity to throw a special shout out to a group in New York who has been a huge ongoing supporter of our Sandy Initiative - Led by Eddie Stern, the good folks over at the Broome St Temple rallied and truly rose to the occasion when Sandy hit. Many of their loyal supporters looked to Eddie as a guiding light to funnel their Sandy related support through. Stern, founder of Ashtanga Yoga New York, is regarded as one of the top Yoga Guru's in the world. After the storm hit, he and his network were immediately out in the Rockaway's helping in any way they could. When I met him he was looking for a good program to start funneling some of the financial aid he had collected via Broome St. Temple. Since then the Broome St temple has helped fund four rounds of candidates through our monetary grant & restore/rebuild programs - helping over a dozen NY/NJ families get almost entirely back on their feet.

Their support has been genuine and tireless and on behalf of the W4W crew and all the families who directly felt their support, THANK YOU Broome St Temple!

Sometimes in this line of work we get to see the brilliance of humanity, in it's purest form - the full circle. Below, rounding out the circle, are a couple thank you notes we received from recipients of Eddie/BST's ongoing support...

I am writing to you, asking you to please forward this note of gratitude to the donor.

Because, without them there would be no light at the end of the tunnel. The grant we received from them made it possible to hire a good electrician to help us get power back on at our home. Lucky for us there was a small amount of plumbing damage, and we were able to fix that as well.

The things we take for granted everyday, just to turn on a light, or shower, and even get a glass of water, were a huge undertaking. But now thru the grace of a perfect stranger, these things are now possible.

I thank God every night for the love of my family and friends. And now for the overflowing heart of a perfect stranger. The person who made my life easier, they are now on the top of my list.

For those non believers’ Angles do exists, because mine flew into my life, and gave me hope where there was none.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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To All Those Who Have Helped Our Family,

You have given us encouragement and hope in a difficult time. We are grateful for your support. The donations that were given to us were an immense help to our family. It allowed us to secure a rental property and pay a security deposit for the home we will reside in during the next year. We were able to make a trip to the Disney store to replace some of Gia's favorite toys and take Nicholas to the mall to replace some of his favorite gadgets. Purchasing clothing the first few days was difficult, but we needed enough to get ourselves started. Having the donations made the thought of replacing things a lot less stressful for us. It's amazing how it feels to have strangers help you in your time of need. It makes the world seem like a smaller place full of love and goodness. We are looking forward to getting back on our feet and paying it forward. Thank you again for being there for us!

With Love,

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Statistics & Progress


 
Destination Northeastern Seaboard - United States

 
Funds Raised $1,393,819

 
Potential Lives Affected 350,000+

Donors



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