A displaced barrier island resident from Ocean County isn't letting Superstorm Sandy get in the way of celebrating the holidays.


Seaside Park resident, Courtney Chibbaro, is leading an effort through Facebook to give Christmas gifts, cards, baked goods and other items to work crews, first responders and hard hit residents on the Northern Barrier Peninsula this month.

"I really wanted to make sure that the holiday spirit didn't get lost in the midst of all the craziness. So I decided that we needed to somehow make sure that we were able to have 'Christmas on the Island'."

So Chibbaro, wanted to get the word out quickly to family members, co-workers and friends for their support, so she set up a Facebook page to let them know how they can help and the logistics but she says the event didn't stay local. She says before she knew it, she had over 2-thousand hits to the Facebook page and 500 people asking to volunteer.

"I woke up one morning with over 100 messages in my inbox of people asking if their Girl Scout Troop can make ornaments or I'm a teacher in Las Vegas, I would really like to have my classroom make cards and mail them to you."

Chibbaro says the support has been so overwhelming that she's set up a P.O. Box to receive the gifts. She's also established donation drop off days at the Allure Hair Salon on Route 37 in Toms River. They'll be there on Sunday Dec 15 and Sunday Dec 21

She says they're also working with local Mayor's so they're not in the way as they spread Christmas cheer from one end of the island to the other on December 23rd.

Chibbaro says "a lot of us think in our heads 'this could be the worst Christmas ever, not being able to be home and we have the opportunity here to really make it the best Christmas ever!

She says they're holding a send off event at the Allure Hair Salon on December 23rd and are taking only two cars over so as not to bring chaos to the island.

Donations can be mailed to the attention of Christmas on the Island, P.O. Box 170 Waretown, N.J. 08758.