New Jersey: Where only the strong survive.
We’ve all seen the phrase plastered on shirts and stuck on bumpers, but today we all learned the true definition of “Jersey Strong.”
As we began Day Two, with sore arms and bits fiberglass in our hair, excitement brewed – all of the volunteers (including me) were motivated by Day One’s progress and ready to see our families’ houses continue to return to being homes. While most of us began construction, some members of the Discovery Education team traveled to Sovereign Elementary School, just down the street from our work sites, to meet many of the children affected by the storm and share with them a preview of Discovery Channel’s upcoming series, North America (premiering this Sunday). The children were also treated to a visit from Animal Planet’s Dave Salmoni, who brought along North American animals, and Jersey boy, Buddy Valastro, who brought sweet treats from Carlos’ Bakery for the students and staff to enjoy.
When we broke for lunch today, “Discovery Impact” came to life. In a special ceremony opened by a Habitat for Humanity leader and our own David Zaslav, volunteers heard from Jersey natives about the deep value of their work. Buddy Valastro shared his own passion for restoring the state he calls home and then welcomed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The Governor recounted the deep devastation experienced when Superstorm Sandy hit his state and shared hope for the future, as well as genuine appreciation for the volunteers who have joined his mission to restore all New Jersey families to their homes.
Nearly impossible to believe, tomorrow is our final day on site. We’re all excited to see what we’ve accomplished in three days and to bring home the stories of strength and hope we have experienced along the way.
I’ve included below a few photo highlights from the day, as well as an incredible video from two dedicated Habitat for Humanity volunteers – a true dose of inspiration! For more images and stories from today, follow us on Twitter, Instagram (#ourimpact on both!) and Facebook.