TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A charity launched by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his wife, Mary Pat Christie, has raised $18.2 million in its first 24 days to help victims of Superstorm Sandy.

Gov. Christie said more than 9,000 people and corporations have donated so far.

Mary Pat Christie, who chairs the effort, said the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund will provide aid to families and business owners trying to rebuild their lives after the devastating storm.

Appearing alongside her husband at an event this week to thank first responders in Middletown, Mary Pat Christie said she and her celebrity co-chairs have vowed to be “good stewards of the money.”

Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Bill Bradley are among the relief-fund’s co-chairs.

Following kudos for his handling of Sandy, Gov. Christie received a record high approval rating for a New Jersey governor, a poll released Tuesday from Quinnipiac University found.

The governor’s approval rating is now at 72 percent, the highest score ever recorded by Quinnipiac for a New Jersey governor.

“Gov. Christopher Christie never looked more like a ‘Jersey Guy’ than when he stood on the Seaside boardwalk after Sandy, and, just about unanimously, his New Jersey neighbors – Republicans, Democrats, Independents – applauded,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

This record high approval came on the heels of New York City registered voters giving Christie top marks for his handling of Sandy.

Just last week, a different Quinnipiac poll found 89 percent of New York City voters said Christie’s response was “excellent” or “good,” a higher mark than Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Obama.

What do you think about Christie’s performance? Please leave your comments below…

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