“Shore2Help” campaign will be collecting gift cards for families in Beaumont, Texas to purchase necessities. Gift Cards for national chains including Walmart, Target, Lowe’s Home Improvement and The Home Depot will be accepted at the following locations:
• Toms River Town Hall, 33 Washington Street (in the lobby)
• Toms River Police Department, 255 Oak Avenue (24/7 at the Records Window)
• Toms River Schools, 1144 Hooper Avenue (teachers will be collecting gift cards from students/parents)
• The People’s Pantry, 1769 Hooper Avenue
Toms River to “Adopt” Texas Town for Hurricane Relief
Toms River Township, along with the Toms River Police Department, Toms River Regional Schools and the People’s Pantry are extending a helping hand to the residents of a Texas town affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“As a community, we know all too well the devastation a hurricane can bring long after the storm has passed. Toms River is an extremely generous community when asked to help others in need. No amount is too small. Let’s show Beaumont, Texas that we stand with them as they begin the long road to recovery,” said Mayor Thomas F. Kelaher.
The Toms River Police Department has been in contact with the Beaumont Police Department and they are compiling a list of their department’s families who have been directly affected by Hurricane Harvey. “We will be personalizing gifts for the families in effort to bring smiles to their faces and hope to them in their time of need.” said Chief Little.
The Toms River Regional School District has partnered directly with the Beaumont Independent School District which is comparable in size to Toms River, serving 19,000 students. Toms River Regional Schools serve nearly 16,000. Since the storm made landfall nearly three months ago, the school district continues to serve more than 300 displaced students, and more than 100 district employees have been directly impacted. Extreme water levels have adversely affected several of Beaumont’s 29 schools, most notably one of high schools, and many students have been moved to other district schools or alternate education facilities in the area.
Toms River Superintendent David Healy has spoken with Beaumont Superintendent John Frossard to develop a proper support plan. The gift cards will be sent along with letters and drawings from Toms River students.
“Toms River Regional Schools- our students, families, teachers, administration, and staff – will not soon forget what life was like during and after Superstorm Sandy, and we are honored and excited to help another district that, unfortunately, finds itself in a similar situation,” said Healy.
Beaumont, Texas, is about 90 miles east of Houston and was among the state’s cities that were hardest hit by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. The storm dropped almost 50 inches of rain and unleashed flash flooding that destroyed homes and businesses, leaving two people dead.
The FEMA verified loss for Beaumont is approximately $51 million. According to FEMA, 4,434 homes were damaged or destroyed, including 3,174 homeowners and 1,286 renters. The city has about 118,000 residents in comparison to Toms River, which has a population of approximately 92,000.
Patricia Donaghue, executive director of The People’s Pantry, said she was heartbroken to learn of the devastation in Texas and helped choose Beaumont for the donation drive.
“Toms River residents who went through Superstorm Sandy saw what was happening in Texas with Hurricane Harvey and they took it personally. Our community kept asking the same question: How can we help? And that is what we intend to do,” said Donoghue.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Texas. So many are struggling during this challenging time as residents are displaced and mountains of debris remain, said Mayor Kelaher. “I’ve made it clear to the Mayor of Beaumont that Toms River is here for them. Let’s come together as a town, contribute in any way we can, and show Beaumont that they have Toms River’s full support.”
We are only accepting gift cards for Walmart, Lowes, Target and Home Depot as they are national chains. We ask that you write the dollar amount you purchased on the card for easier distribution.