MIDDLETOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Superstorm Sandy was so devastating and so traumatic. Something like that can be truly scarring for children, and one former New Jerseyan is trying to help them through it.
“It was really hard to watch because, even on TV, you’re watching the destruction of all these places that you know and love,” Dee Andolpho Shockley told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams. “My children saw it as well. I have three girls who are 10, 8, and 6 and they were just devastated and heartbroken.”
Shockley lives in North Carolina now, but grew up in the Jersey Shore township of Middletown. Family and friends in Union Beach were left homeless.
So, she and her daughters wanted to help.
“One of them said ‘Let’s just have a lemonade stand and send all of the money that we raised to New Jersey’ and thought ‘That’s so cute,'” she said. “You want to do something. You just don’t know what. You feel so helpless. And then also it’s a good lesson for the girls. I mean, they were upset and they wanted to know what’s going to happen. How can we help. And you want them to know that we actually can try to do something.
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So, they set up the lemonade stand, with the goal of selling a little homemade children’s book written by Shockley and illustrated by family friend Rob Hadley. They ended up self-publishing “The Horrible, Horrible Hurricane.”
When the first pressing arrived, Shockley said one of her daughters teared up. She said the others were just amazed that they had made a book.
All proceeds from the sale of the book are going to Sandy relief.
The story is told through the eyes of Shockley’s 10-year-old daughter and starts with a summer vacation at the Jersey Shore.
“Doing all the things that we love, like going to the boardwalk and on the rides and spending all day at the beach,” Shockley said. “But then a hurricane hits and it’s scary. They go through the hurricane and they’re scared and upset and then the next day they go out and everything is destroyed.”
The illustrations are simple childlike sketches – cheery yellow, blue, purple, and green during good times and ominous dark shades during the storm.
“I think one of the best pictures in the book is where it shows the boardwalk that’s completely destroyed with the now imfamous roller coaster in the middle of the ocean,” she said.
In the end, there is a message of hope as everything is rebuilt.
The last page reads: “In the end, our parents were right. Our favorite place is not the same. It’s better and we still, and always will, love the Jersey Shore.”
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