Union Beach Couple on “The Briefcase’ Tonight [AUDIO]
On tonight's episode of 'The Briefcase,' viewers will watch as a local family of Sandy victims is given a briefcase full of cash, and have to decide to keep it for themselves or share it with another family in need.
Andrea Kassimatis and Mike Aponte of Union Beach lost their home in Union Beach to Sandy, and have been living with their three children in a 37-foot trailer ever since.
I spoke to Kassimatis today, who told me the family originally thought they were going to be a part of a documentary about Sandy victims.
On the episode, the family will have to decide whether they want to keep a briefcase full of $100,000 for themselves, or give all or part of it away to the also struggling Owens family of Dayton, Ohio, who were unknowingly making the same decision regarding the Aponte/Kassamatis family.
The show is not without controversy, but Kassamatis tells me she never felt exploited. "I've heard people refer to it as like 'The Hunger Games' for the struggling American family, and no, not at all. It's really allowing you to take a good look at yourself ... and the world around you, and I found the experience to be amazing."
She also hopes that by being on the show, people around the country will see that many families here at the Shore are still struggling to get back in their homes post-Sandy. "That was our main focus when we were doing what we thought was the documentary. Just to say, "Hey, don't feel sorry for us, just please understand that this is still very real, very much going on."'