Hillary Chybinski: Broken Buildings. . .But Not Broken Dreams - The Jersey Shore Rebuilds #JerseyLove

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Broken Buildings. . .But Not Broken Dreams - The Jersey Shore Rebuilds #JerseyLove

Hurricane Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season, as well as the second-costliest hurricane in United States history.

The Jersey Shore Rebuilds After Hurricane Sandy

Some called it the Storm of the Century. . .a Super Storm. Overall, 285 people died, 100 of them in the United States. In nine days, the storm affected Eastern Canada, Greater Antillies, The Eastern United States, Bermuda and the Bahamas.

Lives Were Changed forever in New Jersey After Hurricane Sandy

The famous and beloved Jersey Shore took a beating. . .but while she may have been broken, she is far from beaten.

A few weeks ago, I had the unique opportunity to travel with 39 other women, active in Social Media, as part of the very first Social Media for Social Good Retreat. Many of them I knew online. . .but had never met them "IRL" (in real life). They traveled to my home state of New Jersey from California, Nevada, North Carolina, Arkansas, and other states around our country for one purpose. . .to support the rebuilding of the Jersey Shore through our #JerseyLove initiative.

With incredible help from The Caesar's Entertainment Group, D6SurfSkimmer, and other sponsors and supporters. . .the dream of Kadi Prescott and Elizabeth Norton became a reality.

Much of our #JerseyLove weekend may have looked like a press junket, but make no mistake. . .these women were there to do good, and they were serious about it. According to a document released by the NJ Commerce, Economic Growth and Tourism Commission, the economic impact of the Travel and Tourism industry in NJ contributes $20 billion in economic activity each year and generates 426,000 jobs. In 2003, more than 65 million people visited New Jersey. With reports of areas still damaged by the storms, we were there to spread the word that the "Jersey Shore Was Open For Business".

We traveled via carpools to Belmar, NJ, home to a member of Social Media Moms. We were there to present a check to Mayor Matt Doherty for $5000, raised in part by a generous donation from D6Sports.

The Mayor of Belmar, NJ Addressing our Social Good group

The folks from D6Sports where on-hand, along with people from Eastern Lines Surf Shop in Belmar, to demonstrate what surf skimming and surfing looks like on the jersey shore. They encouraged us to share that with our followers and readers. . .to show them all the Jersey Shore has to offer as a family beach destination.

Belmar, NJ Surf Shop

It was very fitting that the day we did this, Tropical Storm Andrea touched New Jersey. It was foggy, rainy and chilly. But that didn't stop us from trooping onto the beach, visiting the surf shop, and enjoying the amazing hospitality of D'Jais on the Belmar Boardwalk.

Belmar, NJ hot spot survived Hurricane Sandy

When you ask 40 women that spend much of their lives sharing on social media, to spread the word that the Jersey Shore is open, we take you seriously. Estimates are that our #JerseyLove efforts have reached 5 million people. I hope we touched 5 million hearts.

The #JerseyLove effort isn't over yet. . .the success of this summer season remains to be seen. But I can tell you this. . .there are places to stay, and food to eat, and beautiful beaches to play on. Shops are open, chef's are making incredible meals and DJs are spinning the latest tunes.

So pack up your family and make a plan to head down the shore this summer.

catch you soon - 

Disclosure - D6 Sports and Caesar's Entertainment, along with many other sponsors made this trip possible. Please note that although we had sponsors for the trip, we also paid to attend and received no monetary compensation for our time.

1 comment:

  1. What an eye-opening weekend we had. So glad to have been a part of that experience.