Photos: DJ Struntz
Homes are disintegrated. Boardwalks have erupted. People’s belongings and childhood memories have sunk; they loom like watery tombstones in the town-wide floods. People are helpless in the streets, trying to come to terms with it all. Hurricane Sandy has left the East Coast looking like a war zone. And as if that’s not enough, Mother Nature has clenched her cruel fist once more. A coastal storm with 60 mph winds, 14- 19-foot seas and pouring rain is expected to make landfall this week. More property damage and power outages, more floods and fires, more looting and more tears — all nipping at the heals of a frigid winter.
But tragedy only makes the human spirit shine brighter. It proves that there’s still hope for our socially anxious generation. Jon Rose, of California, heads a non-profit organization called Waves For Water. The charity usually serves the purpose of getting clean water to those who need it, but it immediately reached a hand to the East Coast in a time of despair. “Our mission here is targeted,” Jon said. “We’ve been diligently researching to figure out exactly what people need and how to get it to them.” As a result, the W4W crew has teamed up with a variety of local efforts and worked together to supply people with first response/survival needs — generators, water, blankets, etc. The goal is to establish as many grassroots satellite locations as possible, so that their funds and resources will benefit as many people as possible. Jersey legends like Sam Hammer and Nick Bricker have jumped onboard. Pete DiSpirito, who helped start an effort called Restore The Shore, made room at New Jersey-based clothing brand ERGO's headquarters in order for Waves For Water to have a warehouse to base out of. The entire East Coast surf community is banding together to help fellow wave-sliders.
Waves For Water will primarily focus on the East Coast for at least the next 3-6 months. Once people’s immediate needs have been met, they will be there to rebuild. Jon wants to especially focus on the surf community. "If there are any surf shops or homes of surf families that have been destroyed, we are going to be there for them," he said. Waves For Water is a vehicle for people to rally behind. If you have a heartbeat and a dollar, head to http://wavesforwater.com/hurricane-sandy-relief-initiative/