Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together

November 5, 2012
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Hurricane Sandy hit the shores of the East Coast harder than anyone was expecting. As a New Yorker that goes to a major university in New Jersey, I can speak for everyone in the Tri-State Region when I say that even though we were prepared, we weren’t expecting the storm to be as devastating as it was. 50 million people were affected when this “superstorm” hit the most densely populated region of the nation. At print time, 88 people in the United States have been killed by the storm and it’s aftermath. It’s estimated that it will require $50 billion to clean up the area, that doesn’t include rebuilding and relief. Sandy crushed the Jersey Shore, put New York City underwater and knocked out power in the whole region. This natural disaster changed coastlines and lives forever.

On November 2, 2012, NBC held a benefit named Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together to help raise money for those affected by the storm. The benefit featured musical performances by Christina Aguilera, Bon Jovi, Jimmy Fallon, Steven Tyler, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Sting, Mary J. Blige and Bruce Springsteen. Celebrities and public figures also made an appearance; including Matt Lauer, Tina Fey, Ann Curry, Jon Stewart, Brian Williams, Danny Devito, Al Roker, Whoopi Goldberg and Kevin Bacon.

Christina Aguilera opened the show by talking about her hometown of Staten Island, New York and singing ‘Beautiful,’ which was beautifully performed. Bon Jovi then brought us on a tour of his hometown, which was tragically destroyed during the hurricane and proceeded to perform a melody of ‘Who Says You Can’t Go Home’ and ‘Living on a Prayer’ while a slideshow of a destroyed New Jersey played behind him. Ann Curry was in Staten Island giving us an insight on how their residents were holding up. It’s hard to hear people screaming, “Is that my house?” while touring whatever is left of their towns. Billy Joey performed ‘Lights Go Out on Broadway,’ which is completely relevant because New York City and Broadway were left in the dark. Jimmy Fallon, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Tyler and Billy Joel performed ‘Under the Boardwalk’ and spoke about the destroyed Jersey Shore. Brian Williams took us on a trip to the destroyed shore and made it clear that we’re going to rebuild and make things normal again. Steven Tyler and Aerosmith performed ‘Dream On.’ Matt Lauer brought viewers to Rockaway Beach where 110 homes were lost from uncontrollable fires. Sting sung ‘Message in a Bottle’ followed by Mary J. Blige performing a rendition of  ‘The Living Proof.’ The show ends with Jon Stewart and Brian Williams making different references about growing up as “Jersey Boys” and needing a third member. Their chatter back-and-forth made for a perfect transition into the Jersey Boy himself, Bruce Springsteen. Bruce sang ‘Hopes and Dreams’ and at the end of the show reminded everyone to stay Jersey Strong and God Bless New York because we’ll get through this! Throughout the entire benefit, various pictures from areas hit hardest were shown and it was impossible to not get goosebumps while watching these people deal with such horrible tragedies.

Personally, I was evacuated four different times in a twenty-four hour time period and travelled between New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York in a single day. I’ve seen the damage first-hand and have plenty of friends that have completely lost their homes. It’s surreal to know that all of these people are praying and sending money to help out people like me. You never think this sort of tragedy would ever happen to someone like you; and when it does happen to you, you appreciate everything you have in life. We might have been hit hard and it’s going to be a battle to rebuild but we can do it. We’re going to face plenty of challenges and downfalls, but from here, we can go nowhere but up.

 From everyone at WeKnowTheDj, Stay Strong East Coast!

I speak for everyone on the East Coast dealing with the recovery of Hurricane Sandy when I say we appreciate every form of support we’re receiving. We need more though; even the smallest contribution helps. You can donate at www.redcross.org, call 1-800-HELP-Now, by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 or visiting itunes.com/redcross 

-Meg C.

@megchamp07

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