When the lights and power came back on after the superstorm, residents of the Bayshore Region saw almost unfathomable destruction first-hand.

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"We realized that a lot of what we would consider the icons of the Bayshore area had been demolished," Restore the Bayshore President, Janet Gallo said. "Business districts, town centers, community parks, pretty much everything you would consider part of a community was pretty much unrecognizable."

The area spans in Monmouth County from around the Highlands to Cliffwood Beach.

Just days after the storm, a group of residents, along with members of the Matawan PBA #179 launched Restore the Bayshore to identify and address short and long-term issues facing the surrounding communities.

As beach communities up and down the Jersey Shore graced covers across the world, President Janet Gallo said a major concern was that that this region would unintentionally forgotten about.

"That's exactly why we formed, and that's exactly why we're here still doing what we do because we want to raise that awareness and want to show these Bayshore areas that they're loved," she explained.

In just over 11 months, the non-profit has raised and distributed over $35,000 to various organizations.

With the one year anniversary of Sandy approaching, Gallo says the group has identified the town of Union Beach as an area in the biggest need.

"The irreparable and unsafe homes in Union Beach need to be demolished, and they're in the process of doing that right now with the coordination of Gateway Church of Middletown," Gallo said.

To that end, Restore the Bayshore has organized a clean-up to to assist these homeowners in the final stages of their home demolition process. It takes place this Saturday, October 26th. They are asking volunteers to meet at the Union Beach Municipal Building on Poole Avenue, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. You can register here.

The event is open to anybody 16 years and older.

"It doesn't matter if you're from the Bayshore area. If you just want to help, Union Beach is a great place to go, and we hope to see as many people there as possible," Gallo said.

Learn more about the clean up and Restore the Bayshore by checking out their Facebook page.

More Good News

Isles, Inc.

Isles, Inc. is a community development and environment organization based in Trenton. Founded in 1981, Isles, Inc. revitalizes communities by developing green affordable homes, parks and community agriculture.

Isles, Inc. helps assist government and non-profit organizations create master plans to guide neighborhood revitalization by building healthy homes and creating gardens, streetscapes and parks.  To learn more, visit the Isles, Inc. website.

South Jersey Skin Care and Laser Center

Free skin cancer screenings will be offered by a board certified dermatologist at South Jersey Skin Care and Laser Center in Mount Laurel on Oct. 26. The screenings are part of Abby's Day, an event held by the center each year to help kids with rare skin disorders.

Proceeds from the event will go to Only Skin Deep Foundation.  To learn more, visit the South Jersey Skin Care and Laser Center website.