To learn how your local association might use PRIDE funding for community relief efforts, visit the PRIDE page.

PRIDE funding available for Sandy relief

Published on Tuesday, November 20, 2012

 Little Egg Harbor EA
An assembly line of Little Egg Harbor Township teachers, support staff, parents, students, box lunches for community residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the members of the Little Egg Harbor Township Education Association and the Little Egg Harbor Township Support Staff Association served meals for displaced families and those without power. Acting quickly and thinking creatively, LEHTSSA applied for a PRIDE in Public Education grant to fund the effort.

As a result, LEHTEA and LEHTSSA served 1,600 breakfasts and 2,400 lunches over the course of two days, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. Some residents enjoyed their meals at Frog Pond Elementary School while others were delivered their meals at home. The associations’ efforts were bolstered by the donation of soup from the Martin Truex Foundation. Martin Truex is a NASCAR driver who lives in Stafford Township.

Little Egg Harbor EA  
Local association members help residents complete online FEMA applications.

Members also took the opportunity to assist residents as they discovered needs, such as helping those with damaged homes apply for federal emergency assistance.

 “The effort had all the hallmarks of a classic PRIDE event,” said LEHTEA PRIDE chair Maureen Himchack. “It brought the associations into partnership with the community in a direct and meaningful way.”

But it didn’t stop there.
Little Egg Harbor EA  
Paraprofessional Erin Gentile and preschool teacher Dina Lopreiato contact parents to determine the whereabouts of their students.

As in many districts along the shore and into North Jersey, students and their families were scattered throughout the state in whatever shelters were available. Some had been moved several times as some shelters closed. No one was really sure who would show up for school or how they would be transported when classes resumed.  So on Nov. 8, staff volunteers set about the daunting task of making phone calls to locate as many students as possible.

To make the difficult and sometimes emotionally fraught effort more bearable, the two local associations used the PRIDE grant to provide breakfast for the volunteers.


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