Mayor’s Column: Voorhees adopts Highlands

Mayor’s Column: Voorhees adopts Highlands

Voorhees Township has adopted the Borough of Highlands, NJ, in an effort to help neighbors who were severely impacted by “Superstorm” Sandy. We are reaching out to our residents, community organizations and places of worship for donations to assist the residents of Highlands.

Highlands is a borough in Monmouth County with a population of about 5,000. The eastern part of the town is built on a high bluff that overlooks Sandy Hook and the Atlantic Ocean. On Oct. 29, “Superstorm” Sandy slammed into the eastern seaboard of the United States, making landfall just north of Atlantic City. Highlands Borough was destroyed when a storm surge of 10 feet swept in from the bay beginning as early as Oct. 28. Homes and businesses were severely damaged or destroyed, including the famous Bahrs Landing and Lusty Lobster Fishery.

Almost every home in Highlands suffered severe damage as water levels rose four to five feet inside, destroying the interiors, electrical and gas systems and contents. More than 1,200 homes were impacted by the flooding and many homeowners have not yet been able to repair their homes or replace basic items needed for food preparation, laundry or sleeping.

For those wishing to make a cash donation, please forward your check to Hope for Highlands, a 501©(3) non-profit organization devoted to the relief of the needy and/or displaced and the general recovery of the town of Highlands as a result of the devastation created by Sandy. Hope for Highlands is focused primarily on assisting with the recovery and restoration of the downtown for its residents, businesses and community infrastructure.

Checks can be made payable to HBP-Hope for Highlands, P.O. Box 375, Highlands, NJ 07732. For those who wish to donate online, a link to Hope for Highlands may be found on the homepage of the Voorhees website, www.voorheesnj.com. All donations to Hope for Highlands are tax deductible. Tax ID #22–3665400.

Those who wish to donate items in accordance with the guidelines set forth below may bring them to Voorhees Town Hall at 2400 Voorhees Town Center. Please drop off your items to Jeanette, Dee, Larry or Stefanie during normal business hours of Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All donations must be received no later than March 15. For the purposes of safety and hygiene, items must be new.

Items that have been specifically requested by the Borough of Highlands are kitchenware such as toaster ovens, toasters, crock pots, microwaves, blenders, pots, pans, silverware, kitchen utensils, mixing bowls, serving bowls, measuring cups and kitchen towels.

Based on the number of homes destroyed and the number of families who have not yet been able to reestablish their household, Highlands estimates it needs about 200 of each of the listed items.

Voorhees Township is proud to help our neighbors in Highlands. Please join the cause and make a donation.