The east coast has its share of natural disasters. Hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods are yearly occurrences for some. Last year, the unimaginable Superstorm Sandy made landfall along the Jersey shore, leaving devastation of epic proportions. Tragedy stuck, and as usual in Jersey, communities bonded.
Goodwill starts at a grassroots level with local residents rolling up their sleeves to help their neighbors, and is boosted by print and broadcast media asking for support. However, because of social media, which is used by one in every five Americans who turn to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to get updates, word rapidly spread and quickly led to social good.
Social Good benefits the largest amount of people in the largest way. When news of Superstorm Sandy lit up Twitter and Facebook feeds, people from out-of-state poured in to clear the mass destruction, which then lead to the rebuilding of the iconic Jersey Shore from Cape May, Atlantic City and the Wildwoods, up to Long Beach Island, Belmar, and Sandy Hook.
Locally, the Princeton United Methodist, Nassau Presbyterian, and Trinity churches, Princeton Public Library, and the Valley Road building offered food, warmth, charging stations, shelter, and more to locals (read more here). Lowes collaborated with Boston Market and Gov. Chris Christie to get Thanksgiving meals to communities most impacted by Sandy, including nearby locations. Social media helped tremendously in conveying the available support. Thankfully, residents were able to make it to the library and churches to access their available wi-fi to get these updates.
The non-profit Restore Our Shore, founded by Princeton’s own Melissa Kelpacki of PrincetonScoop, has raised funds to aid those in need after Sandy. New Jerseyans take care of their own, and it shows how powerful our resolve is. After all, we are #JerseyStrong.
The Jersey Shore is symbolic of beach vacations. The Garden State is known for its boardwalks offering arcades, shops, roller coasters on piers, and beautiful beaches. The shore also has year-round entertainment including the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, Jenkinson’s Aquarium in Point Pleasant, and the many casinos of Atlantic City.
Mother Nature took a stab at our beautiful coastal communities last fall, and they looked defeated in the winter, but by spring the shore was like a phoenix that has risen from the ashes. The coastal towns worked hard to rebuild their boardwalks and commercial areas before Memorial Day, and now the Jersey Shore is OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
40 women, 4 days, 1 mission: restore tourism in New Jersey. Follow the first ever social media 4 social good trip in the US. #JerseyLove ~ @KadiPrescott, founder of Social Media Moms
Tourism accounts for over 500,000 jobs and more than $4.5 billion in state and local tax revenue making it New Jersey’s second largest industry, and largest employer. One of the state’s biggest jewels is its coastline stretching 127 miles. Cape May is considered the country’s first seaside resort, and combined with 70 other shore towns, offer tourists unique experiences, whether they’re teens, honeymooners, families, or empty nesters.
A group of 40 women from Social Media Moms and NJ Digital Moms have joined forces to do Social Good (#SoGo) thanks to D6 Sports and a generous sponsorship from Caesars Entertainment, and I will be among them. From June 6 – 9, 2013, we will visit Atlantic City and Belmar for a retreat, and share our experiences via social media. Our goal is to encourage people to come to the shore for a season of water sports, gaming, spas, and more. We’ll engage our friends and followers doing social good on social media in hopes that our message will go viral.
If you’re on Twitter, follow me at ShutterBugGeek to catch our pre-event, live, and post-event tweets and look for the hashtag #JerseyLove. Facebook users can like New Jersey Digital Moms to catch updates and photos of our event. Instagram fans can follow me at ShutterBugGeek for photos. Also, look for some pins on Pinterest. Please help us get the word out about our mission to get people to visit the Jersey shore by retweeting, sharing, repinning, and spreading the #JerseyLove!