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Family Assistance Center Helps Jersey Shore Families Recover

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The feeling of isolation and hopelessness was a concern. The Red Cross put those concerns at ease.

The American Red Cross New Jersey Region partnered with the Tri-County Community Organizations Active in Disaster and other disaster assistance organizations to facilitate a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) for people whose homes were damaged by coastal flooding caused by the recent colossal winter storm. 

Local organizations and agencies gathered on Saturday, January 30 at Wildwood City Hall to provide flood-affected residents with a one-stop-shop for community resources to help with their recovery. City Hall was filled with tables for participating local, county and government agencies and non-profit organizations to provide support and assistance to the families. 


More than 120 families visited the MARC and went table to table meeting with agencies and organizations to receive assistance, guidance and resources to help them recover from the storm. 

“We are proud to join forces with the Tri-County Community Organizations Active in Disaster and other community partners to bring together a variety of resources and assistance in one convenient location for those affected by recent coastal flooding,” said Steven Sarinelli, regional disaster officer, American Red Cross New Jersey Region. 

Trained Red Cross workers met one-on-one with people to provide support, help them plan their recovery and receive help from other agencies. This support could also include financial assistance, depending on individual circumstances. 

“The MARC was well organized and provided the victims with a singular place to meet their needs,” said Chris Ridings, administrator, Borough of West Wildwood. “The feeling of isolation and hopelessness by the victims was a primary concern. The Red Cross put those concerns at ease.”

Red Cross volunteers also distributed clean-up kits containing items such as a mop, broom, disinfectant, detergent and sponges to those like Lydia Ashton and her son KShawn to help as they clean up their flooded-damaged Wildwood home. 

Lydia found having multiple organizations and agencies in one place helpful as she began to recover from the storm.

“This is good. Talking to someone here today will help,” she said. 

Participating partners included The American Red Cross, New Jersey Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NJ VOAD), Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden, Red Paw Emergency Relief Team, Community Foodbank of New Jersey, Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group, Community Health Law Project, St. Vincent De Paul Society, Disaster Response Crisis Counselors, Cape Counseling Services, United Way of Cape May County, First Assembly of God Cape May NJ, Seashore Community Church of the Nazarene, along with Cape May County agencies including the Division on Aging, Mental Health, Human Services and the Board of Social Services. 

As winter weather and flooding moved into the Garden State Saturday, the Red Cross, in cooperation with its government partners, opened three shelters for families who evacuated their homes due to coastal flooding and power outages. The shelters, located in Atlantic City, Barnegat and Woodbine, provided a warm, safe place for the 59 people who stayed overnight. Shelters closed Sunday as many of the families returned home. 

On Monday, volunteers began driving response vehicles into neighborhoods where flooding was reported.  Since the storm, volunteer teams have distributed more than 920 relief items including shovels, trash bags, gloves, tarps, as well as more than 120 clean-up kits.

“The Red Cross was on location almost immediately after the water receded,” said Ridings. “They offered physical and emotional support to our residents.”

People impacted by the recent flooding in New Jersey caused by Winter Storm Jonas can visit or call 2-1-1 for information about available resources, including the Red Cross. 

HOW TO HELP All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people.

You can help people affected by disasters like winter storms or countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Donate by visiting calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

PLEASE GIVE BLOOD The extreme weather has created an emergency need for blood donations and platelet donors, as many donation centers had to be closed during the blizzard. All eligible blood and platelet donors of all types are urged to make an appointment to give as soon as possible. See full details here about how you can help.