The Jersey Shore is my home. As most of you know I was raised at the Jersey Shore, graduated from Point Pleasant Beach High School, started my first job at a local sub shop named Mike’s when I was 14, and bought it three years later. I learned some of my most important business lessons -- about giving -- right here in this community.
I saw local business people like Bob Hoffman of Hoffman’s Ice Cream, Jack Baker of Jack Baker’s Lobster Shanty and others doing so much for their community. Because of them, making a difference was part of our mission from the beginning.
To see the devastation that has taken place at our beloved Jersey Shore in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is heart breaking. And yet, the last few weeks have been inspiring, as neighbors and strangers alike have connected in tragedy to restore, renew and rebuild this precious area. Once more, for me, those original lessons in making a difference have been validated.
As Thanksgiving week arrives, I’d like to extend my gratitude to our entire Jersey Mike’s family – franchise owners, team members, customers, neighbors, and business associates -- who have stepped in and stepped up to help those impacted by this epic storm.
It has been truly inspiring to be part of this amazing effort. We have seen acts of kindness, sympathy, heroism and encouragement. While it’s impossible to recognize all those who have made a difference, here are a few examples of the unity, compassion and widespread generosity that make us proud to call New Jersey our home.
In partnership with the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, which serves the Jersey Shore, all operating Jersey Mike’s restaurants in New Jersey collected and delivered nonperishable food and toiletry items. More than 2,000 pounds of food has been collected since the Drive began. This campaign has extended to food and items being collected in theWashington, D.C. market as well as State College, Pennsylvania.
Lifelong Point Beach residents Chip and Maura Dicorcia and their three daughters opened a command center for volunteers at the Masonic Lodge. Volunteers were given subs, chips, water and soda after arriving from all over New Jersey and other states. Volunteers also assisted with St. Mary’s Church and the St. Gregory’s Pantry to provide warm meals, blankets and clothes to those in need.
Jersey Mike’s foodservice partners were helping all the way:PepsiCo donated pallets of product to the barrier islands and to first responders; Giordano Foods delivered roast beefs and meatballs to St. Mary’s Church soup kitchen and to Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church; Dairy Farmer’s of Americacame with 180 lbs of provolone cheese; Jennie O – Turkeywith 315 lbs of turkey; Patrick Cudahy with 330 lbs of ham;Oasis Foods with gallons of oil and vinegar; and Bagcraft with pounds of parchment and bags for individual deployment of subs. Our distributor SYSCO delivered pallets of paper goods, utensils, cleaning supplies, garbage bags and other necessary items directly to the FoodBank.
Jersey Mike’s team members and their families made and delivered well over 7,500 subs, chips and waters to displaced and hungry residents, soup kitchens, and shelters, as well as to first responders and volunteers.
The Jersey Mike’s extended family volunteered endlessly going door to door to help residents of many shore towns clean debris from their homes and towns.
The Meridian Health Foundation and ARC of Monmouth and Ocean Counties are redirecting the fundraising proceeds from their biggest fundraisers of the year to provide support to programs and families severely impacted by the storm.
Jersey Mike’s Subs locations across the country have begun fundraising to support the healing and rebuilding needs here at the Jersey Shore.
To date more than $40,000 has been raised.
This is proof that you don’t have to go far to do good deeds. Look at your own community and you’ll find there is so much to do. The opportunities are all around us.
Our hearts go out to those who experienced profound losses and we pledge to continue helping our neighbors and communities. Together we will rebuild New Jersey - better and stronger than ever.
Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy Holiday Season.
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