Sunday, November 3, 2013

Samaritan Sunday (November 3, 2013)

[If you should choose to adopt this prompt to contribute your own stories of folks who have gone out of their way to lend genealogy-related assistance to others, I would greatly appreciate a mention to Filiopietism Prism whenever you do so.  Thank you!  And please do use the same photograph below to illustrate the prompt.  ;-) ]

When "Superstorm Sandy" hit the U.S. Atlantic coast in October 2012, it was the deadliest hurricane of the 2012 hurricane season.  It was extremely destructive and became the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history. Measured by the swirling diameter of the storm itself, Hurricane Sandy was the largest Atlantic hurricane on record with winds spanning an area 1,100 miles in diameter. When it hit New Jersey and came ashore at Brigantine just a little northeast of Atlantic City, it left some 346,000 homes destroyed or damaged. At least 286 people in seven countries were killed by Sandy.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy the detritus of the storm was scattered all over the coastal Garden State.  Among the detritus were the remains of washed away communities, homes, automobiles and businesses. What might have been called "storm litter" by some also contained what two Good Samaritans recognized as family treasures from hundreds of thousands of devastated homes and displaced families. Items such as a packet of 1951 love letters, a high school varsity jacket, and a hand-painted house number sign with dolphins on it were recovered, but the owners were unknown or not able to be found.  

Enter Holly Sprick of Franklin, NJ and Shannon Pryor of Toms River, NJ and their creative founding of the "Hurricane Sandy's Lost Treasures" page on Facebook.  Their page seeks to reunite storm victims with items found in the detritus left behind by Hurricane Sandy . . . and some of those items are proving to be anything but "storm litter" -- they are some of the most precious mementos and family keepsakes lost by the storm victims. 

To read details about the founding of Hurricane Sandy's Lost Treasures page and to see photos of Good Samaritans Holly and Shannon along with some of the items they have rescued and the people they have helped, go here

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Photograph of the The Good Samaritan sculpture by Francois-Leon Sicard (1862 - 1934).  The sculpture is located in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris, France.  The photograph is by Marie-Lan Nguyen and has been placed in the public domain by her. See,
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Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
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