Nonprofit Dedicated to Helping Military Members Receives Major Outpouring of Support After Being Ravaged by Hurricane Ida

by Matthew Memrick

A New Jersey charity dedicated to helping the military got a boost of support after Hurricane Ida battered its operations in September.

Significant Raritan River flooding destroyed Operation Jersey Cares’s 4,500-square-foot headquarters.

In a Facebook post, the charity said, “We sat back after the storm blew through, took in all the devastation and weighed what was salvageable.”

The non-profit organization told Fox News that the flooding destroyed the Raritan building’s contents for a few metal tables.

In September, the hurricane waterlogged other towns like New Brunswick, Manville, and Bound Brook along the river. According to the Associated Press, at least 25 people perished in New Jersey, the most of any state.  

As for the charity, it vowed to come back stronger than ever after the setback after the hurricane passed through.

Military Charity’s Building Was Under Water

Dana Gooditis, the board secretary and head of fundraising, said her building was not in a flood zone, and the group did not have flood insurance.  

When word got out through the charity’s Facebook page, support started to build from the community. Thousands of dollars in donations and physical labor came next. Many of the military charity’s volunteers worked over 40 hours a week.

According to the charity, private citizens and local companies helped move Operation Jersey Cares to a nearby barn. The donated barn will serve as a temporary location for supplies and packing events for the military.

Gooditis said pharmaceutical companies, corporate companies, financial companies, small shops, and the local community had supported the organization over the years.

What’s Next?

However, the military charity needs more help. Since 2007, the charity has focused on packing and shipping supplies to active service members. In addition to collections, the group works to help to return soldiers adjust to life after their service.

Gooditis recently told Fox News needs a new headquarters because the group “can’t stay in a barn forever.”

The military charity reached out to its Facebook friends, asking if anyone knew of a vacant building in the area.

The charity said it could make a 2,500 square-foot building or warehouse with open concept work for pallet deliveries. 

“We have this motto: one team, one fight. And when we do that and when we ask for all hands on deck, we do get good support from the community,” Gooditis told Fox News.

Military Charity Does Much With Little

According to its GuideStar profile, the military charity has “obtained, packed and mailed over 450,000 pounds of product directly to individual servicemen/women” continuingly. Operation Jersey Caries intends for these individuals to share the support with “fellow warriors in combat zones and field hospitals.”

Among the donations are food, personal care items, clothing, and blankets. Various VA hospitals and local veterans also get motorized scooters and electric/manual wheelchairs.