Shannon Colditz says she just had enough.
Enough of the images on her television screen showing her beloved New Jersey Shore in shambles.
Enough of the masses of residents without power, food, even homes.
So on Saturday, Nov. 3, Colditz got off her couch, she says, and did something about it.
What followed was a community effort of mass proportions that Hackettstown's Colditz herself didn’t expect.
Colditz launched Restore the Shore, a donation drive to help those in need along the barrier islands that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy at the end of October.
She used her home as a drop-off center and coordinated transportation to move the goods to shelters in Brick Township and Point Pleasant.
That Saturday morning, Colditz went over to WRNJ Radio and told listeners exactly what she planned to do.
“From that point on, the word just spread and the outpouring was overwhelming!” Colditz said in an email to Hackettstown Patch. “As the hours passed by, more and more donations came. People were showing up asking how they could help and what they could go buy. It was simply amazing!”
Donations even came in for the volunteers helping to coordinate the drop-off center, Colditz said. Local businesses reached out to offer their trucks for transportation as well.
The goods requested came in until the very last possible minute, noon on Monday, Nov. 5, when the trucks left for the shore, Colditz said.
Escorted out of town by Hackettstown Police, a group of volunteers took their own cars down to the shelters behind four trucks full of donated goods, Colditz said.
The group made its first stop at Visitation Church in Brick Township that afternoon. When the first truck was unloaded, the group learned the shelter had what it needed. With three trucks full of donations left, it was on to the next stop.
One of the volunteers found a second shelter in Point Pleasant at Saint Mary’s By The Sea, Colditz said. After dispersing another truckload there, the group was directed to St. Peter’s Church in Point Pleasant, where it emptied the final two trucks.
The group was then treated to dinner at the Saint Mary’s shelter, and “the hospitality was amazing!” Colditz said.
“Many people asked me if I knew anybody down the shore,” Colditz said. “But believe it or not, I don’t. So many people were wondering how they could help or where they could help, so I just took charge and made it possible for everybody to do so.”
Among the businesses that assisted in the effort are: WRNJ; Hackettstown Trading Post; Sage Design Studio Kitchens and Bath; Hometown Hardware; Sparta Coin and Jewelry; Vetica Woodwork; Enzo’s Pizza; Hackettstown Regional Medical Center; and Centenary College.
Among the volunteers that helped are: Dean and Jake Zisa; Marcus Hoff; Vicki Malanga; Steve Wiseman; Heather McCioskey; Iris Hirsh; Ron and Bonnie Papso; Francine Brosonski; Donna Jensen; Sue Knarr; Karren Jeffers; Antonette Holub; Vito Leach; Maddie Bovill; Donna Colditz; Crystal Colditz; Dennis and Pauline Colditz; Eric Grohowski; Keith Brodine; Tracy Colditz; Holly Eskow
“I cannot express how thankful I am to everybody who helped out,” Colditz said. “Everyone should be so proud of themselves! We worked so hard to make this happen and it did!”