When Communities Come Together ... Especially the Hills!

Sandy had been devastating for NJ families (& beyond). I discuss "post-storm community" with recognition for the Hills of Basking Ridge.

It's beautiful when communities come together to help other humans affected by something like Hurricane Sandy.

Whether it is a friend on Staten Island going door to door in one of the most affected parts of Staten Island to pass out supplies, blankets, food and other sundries. Or friends from high school in Manalapan signing up to be Red Cross volunteers and helping people at the Jersey Shore.

The Richmans, without power, were pretty helpless after the storm. Once we got power back, we opened our doors to friends and family to come and stay, drink, eat, re-power, shower and have a laugh.

My "work community" sent dinner on Friday night for everyone staying at the house. They fed four families plus a neighborhood up the block still without power.  Thank you to an amazingly thoughtful team!

My "Facebook community" updated each other on power situations, gas stations with gas and short lines, traffic light outages, and services and needs available. Here's two examples of real help:

One high school friend posted on Facebook that her friend lived in Seabrite, a town that was completely washed away by the storm, and lost everything. She has a four-year-old daughter who had nothing, including underwear.

Another friend from high school said that his friend was a landscaper in Pennsylvania and wanted to help with the clean-up / would give good rates. Within 30 minutes, we made arrangements for him to come to our house to help with our tree damage.

The community that meant the most to me personally was the Hills of Basking Ridge

Governor Christie cancelled Halloween (and I still laugh at some of the quotables in the media from Christie like "cancelling Halloween"). 

At this point, many residents of the Hills had been couped up in powerless homes for two days. Board games, books and iPads only took us so far. Many of us wondered what to do for our kids to not just celebrate Halloween, but not to "ruin" Halloween for our kids.

At 11 AM on Halloween, I received a text message from a friend who lives in Carlysle saying, "Trunk or Treat being organized at Mt. Prospect Elementary at noon. Bring your candy. No down power lines or trees."

What a wonderful idea! And so we went in our silver SUV stocked with candy and my three-year-old dressed as "Super Kitty." 

On a sidenote, she didn't want to wear her original princess costume (same one as Lily wore on ABC's "Modern Family") because "it wasn't comfortable." I didn't tell her what my mother told me when I was younger, "Beauty hurts."

Nonetheless, there were about 100 cars lined up in four rows in the parking lot of the school -- trunks open and full of candy. My friend and fellow Hills resident took our two girls around while I stood at the trunk of her car handing out candy. At one point, I left my own SUV's trunk unmanned and the gentleman from the car next to me, manned my trunk.

An added benefit to the "Trunk or Treat" was the opportunity to meet many neighbors that I might not normally because our kids are different ages. Many familiar faces and many more now after the Trunk or Treat.

At the end of the "Trunk or Treat," a friend said, "I was expecting this to just be people from our block. This turned out great. We should make it an annual thing."

Please check out my blog: A Working Mom & Blogging Toddler (stories of a working mom and her daughter in Basking Ridge) at
http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com or follow me on Twitter at

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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