Weeks after hurricane Sandy struck the coast of New York, victims are still trying to find some sense of stability in their world that was turned upside down. Homes were destroyed and in many cases, folks lost nearly all they owned. As home owners searched through what remained of their life possessions, a lucky few were able to salvage some of their family keepsakes. Though badly damaged by salt water, dirt and mildew, some were able to reclaim lost photographs of loved ones. Some photos were found washed ashore on Staten Island. Local news papers posted them in hopes that owners would identify them and reclaim them.
For most, these reclaimed photographs pictures would be lost for good, or at best, kept in their damaged state as sad reminders of what once was. However, because of the goodness of volunteers like Lee Kelly, Martin Rigby and a work force of volunteers, these precious family heirlooms are being restored to their original state and returned to their owners.
To help in this huge task, Kelly and Martin contacted friends and associates who knew how to deal with photo restoration and founded an organization called CARE for Sandy. CARE stands for the Cherished Albums Restoration Effort. This group of volunteers offers their skills to help do digital restoration services for free to affected families.
The CARE group held a public scanning event Nov. 20 in the Rockaways area of New York where the greatest amount of storm damage was done. Kelly plans to hold additional scanning events throughout New York and New Jersey where families can have their favorite photos scanned, digitally retouched and then emailed back to the family.
To learn more about this effort or to offer help you can visit the CARE for Sandy website.