HelpHighlands_Hands with web address

Matching Generosity with Community Needs

Highlands, NJ is a small coastal town that was extremely hard-hit by Superstorm Sandy and is very grateful for the amazing outpouring of generosity of people all over the country.  Mayor Frank Nolan brought the town together Sunday after the storm to let everyone know what had been happening with the main message of hope and neighbors taking care of one another.

Please be sure to “FOLLOW” this blog to receive email notices of volunteering opportunities or to LIKE our FaceBook page of the same name, Help Highlands NJ.

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There were 90 water rescues conducted on Monday of the storm, including my own family.  The great news is there were NO casualties and the town has already started the cleanup.  Frank Nolan, Mayor Highlands NJ

Highlands is not a wealthy vacation town.  It is mainly a blue collar and clamming town.  There are about 3400 residents and around 1500 live in the down town area which borders the river.  Our barrier from the ocean is Sandy Hook, which is the first beach on the Jersey Shore.  The ocean breached the barrier island and met with the river.  About 90% of the downtown residences have been deemed unlivable.   The water mark reached as high as 10 feet on some of the homes and even the highest level (downtown) had water at about 15 inches.  Our boro hall has been destroyed, and our police, first aid and boro employees have all been working out of the new, not so large, firehouse.  90% of the homes in the downtown section of Highlands have been significantly damaged.

This site provides a way for us to match recovery and rebuilding needs with volunteers and resources and to keep everyone up to date with progress.

39 thoughts on “Matching Generosity with Community Needs

  1. Susan Morgan

    Fundraising for Highlands this Saturday, I will have a booth at Prem International School’s International Day event, Chiang Mai, Thailand. We’re making Native American Jewelry, all donations from my booth will go to Highlands aid. Will post pictures.

  2. Vincent Santoro

    Anyone involved in the massive clean up needs to be aware of potential post storm dangers. Please visit the Department of Labor website listed below. On the Hurricane Assistance Page there is a box (on the right) marked “on this page” click on Fact Sheets on Natural Disaster Recovery.
    There are several documents titled “Cleanup Hazards, Flood Cleanup, Downed Electrical Wires, Fungi, Tree Trimming” and other related topics.
    The documents are in Spanish and English and are an invaluable resource for staying safe while you are helping others.

    Please pass this on …….
    Best Regards
    V. Santoro

  3. Susan Morgan

    Prem International School Chiang Mai Thailand, students made dream catcher jewelry, all purchases of materials went to donations for Highlands Fire Dept Toy Fund.

    1. Michele Pezzullo

      Hi Susan,
      Thank you and your students so much for helping Highlands. I am sure this will make many other children very happy!
      All the best,

  4. Tavia Danch

    Clean Ocean Action is organizing a Day of Service “For the Shore” on December 8th. We would love to offer a project in Highlands- is there any project we can add to our list? Can someone contact our office at 732 872 0111.

    Thanks and great website!

  5. Christine Livingston

    Hi! Has anyone organized a toy drive or Christmas drive of any sort? I would like to start one for some of the neighboring towns and was wondering how I could get a list of families in need and specifics of needs, ages of family, etc. Thank you. Christine Livingston,

  6. Stacy

    Christine, these are the details for what we have in town including contact information.

    It’s that time of year folks and the Highlands Fire Department is getting in the Christmas Spirit! We are holding our Annual Robert Wilson Toys for Tot’s Drive and need everyone’s help.

    As you can imagine the kids of Highlands have been hit just as hard as their parents from Hurricane Sandy and they need our support. We are looking for unwrapped gifts, cash or check donations made to: Robert Wi…lson Xmas Fund (17-1 Shore Drive, Highlands, NJ 07732). Also if you know of any Highlands children needing ext
    ra help please contact Mike Armstrong at or 732-581-9940 anytime.

    The Robert Wilson Toys for Tot’s Drive will be held on Sunday December 16, 2012 at 12PM located in the firehouse (17-1 Shore Drive, Highlands, NJ 07732). All children are welcome from the town of Highlands and should be ready for candy canes, hot chocolate, cup cakes, cookies and of course pictures with SANTA!!!!

  7. Rosemary Ryan

    Any schools that are interested in adopting a class, please contact me and I can match you up and give you a list! Thank you!

    1. Gina

      I have a 3rd grade class possibly interested in adopting a class…can you give me you contact information and I will share that with my friend making these plans, thank you.

  8. maureen welch and arnie fuog

    We own the community garden at 92 – 98 Bay Avenue. A very large tree fell in the garden. We have cut about half of it – we can cut more but need someone to help us drag the trunk to street. Will likely require a tow truck.


    1. mpezzullo

      Hi Maureen and Arnie,
      Give Samaritan’s Purse a call 848.218.7082 — they are a group of people who will provide F R E E HURRICANE RELIEF ASSISTANCE.

      Samaritan’s Purse will help Homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy — please call 848.218.7082. They will help with debris cleanup, tree work/yard debris, mud-outs, gut outs, recovery of personal property.

      Services are FREE to the homeowner – please call — 848.218.7082

      Samaritan’s Purse does not work on rentals or commercial property. They will assist in removal of personal property from rental space to the renter.

      I visited them today and spoke to a Havard (Hayvard) Lee Harris and Cindy. They have their BIG BLACK TRUCK in Lincroft at the Church across from Brookdale College’s round-about circle – they are looking for people to help. Please Call them – 848.218.7082.

      Please pass info along to your family and friends – they have about 40 volunteers in the area and are willing to work and help us.

  9. Gina

    Hi there, I live out of town but have spent time in Highlands every summer since I was a child. It is my children’s favorite place and they have made great memories. Our home was destroyed and we hope to rebuild eventually. In the meantime, I’d like to get involved on any committees or can help coordinate any outreach efforts, etc. Please let me know how I might be able to help. Thank you,.

      1. ldziemba Post author

        Hi Jermel. Good to hear from you. The only currently organized volunteer activities are related to sorting and organizing donated items. At olph.

  10. Steve Klug - Notre Dame Club of So Jersey

    Have collected cleaning materials, food, toys and other items and would like to drop off at noon on Saturday 12/8

  11. Julie


    I’m running an event this weekend up in my town in Massachusetts (grew up in Highlands/family still there) I plan on exchanging any cash donations into gift cards and I only have a few people I would give to personally – is there a way I can give them to someone to be distributed?


    1. ldziemba Post author

      Hi Julie

      Thank you. You can take them to our lady of perpetual help at the corner of miller and 36 (121 miller) or you can donate the cash online at this site.

      Thank you again


    1. ldziemba Post author

      Hi Jill

      Thank you very much. I am sure some folks would love to have them. Need to confirm for you where to drop them.

      How many are there and what size? We need to be sure to have adequate space to receive them.



  12. kyle gatta

    I am looking to volunteer. I am a 17 year old student at
    red bank Catholic. Can you please email me back. Thankyou

    1. ldziemba Post author

      Hi Kyle

      We do not have any organized groups at present. Thank you for offering. Please sign up to follow this site and when there are opportunities you will receive an email.

      Thank you


    2. April J

      Hi Kyle – thank you for wanting to volunteer. I don’t know if you know this or not, but there’s a volunteer group that has been helping in Highlands for months and just happened to relocate their HQ to Highlands today (or yesterday) You should check out their website for their contact info or perhaps if it’s not too much trouble, stop by the Highlands VFW. Thank you for helping!!! It is so truly appreciated.

  13. riohearts

    I was hoping to get in touch with Ms Parker. Hoping our organization can help. Please refer to our website and contact me @ 732-720-4944. Thx.

  14. Sue Clouse

    I just made a donation and we have the opportunity for matching gifts, but I need an address. Thank you.

    1. ldziemba Post author

      Hi Sue,

      Thank you very much. If you donated on this site, here is the address for the online donation organization:

      Highlands Storm Relief / Kavookjian Field and Highlands Living Memorial:

      PO Box 155

      Highlands, NJ 07732

      ATTN: Tim Hill, KFWMF


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