Free haircuts will be offered to all area residents affected by Superstorm Sandy from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at Ciao Bella Salon, 516 Bay Ave., Point Pleasant Beach.
Hair stylists Cristina Ortiz of Roselle and Nutley resident Jo Carlo are offering free haircuts as a way to pay forward the outpouring of support and effort they witnessed following the storm.
While payment is not required, donations are welcome and will be divided between the kitchen at which has been serving hot meals daily since Sandy struck and Shore 2 Recover, a Point Beach-based organization helping Sandy victims.
The Highlands home of Ortiz's sister was badly damaged by the storm. Within a week, volunteers from a local church and others had gutted the home and started the family on their recovery.
Ortiz and Carlo have done free hair cuts, “Haircuts for a Cause,” in Highlands, Union Beach, and Toms River.
After contacting the pair was put in touch with Toni Pecunia of Shore 2 Recover.
Pecunia reached out to Ciao Bella owner Denise Brzezinski who graciously offered her salon for the event.
Ortiz and Carlo, Ortiz’s brother, barber Tony DaCosta of Elizabeth, and several other stylists will provide their services.
In addition, Ciao Bella stylists Jessica Goretski, Michele Carr, Kelly Kelly, Tina Elliot, Rossanna Reynolds, Nicole Valentino and Kim Daddato will lend their talents at the event.
The church has been supplying 500 meals a day to storm-impacted locals and first responders since the storm. Open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, they serve breakfast and dinner, and provide snacks and a place to gather all afternoon.
Shore 2 Recover, established in December 2012, has collected and dispersed more than $12,000 and additional products to local families, and is working to assist in the rebuilding process from Point Pleasant Beach to Seaside Park.
Both organizations will have shirts available for purchase and Little Sweet Cakes of Point Pleasant Beach will be providing free mini-cupcakes.
This service is available to anyone affected by the storm. Displaced residents, volunteers and first responders are especially encouraged to take advantage of this free offer.
No appointment is necessary, but those attending are asked to come in with freshly shampooed hair. Cuts and styling will be provided for men, women and children (please, no up-dos).
Basic manicures will also be offered.
Regarding Shore 2 Recover, the group has dispersed all money donated and has some toiletries and cleaning supplies that their volunteers are gathering for the next distribution. Shore 2 Recover took care of five Point Beach families for Christmas, fed numerous people living in motels, the National Guard and others.
The organization's primary mission for the next few months is to help people and businesses from Point Beach to Seaside Park with rebuilding. The volunteers are soliciting major companies to donate building materials and have asked contractors to donate their excess supplies that they can distribute to families working to rebuild their homes.
Shore 2 Recover volunteers were in Ortley and Lavallette recently and will be going there again handing out supplies and helping to clean up. The group has also been to Union Beach to distribute cleaning supplies, but organizers have decided to focus on Point and the barrier island at this time.
Shore 2 Recover has a help request form that volunteers hand out when they go door-to-door in affected areas. It is also on the group's website.
The organization gives each family that applies $500 towards rebuilding. Larger requests must be approved by the board at meetings.
The organization also connects people in need with people who can help (ie: for appliances, furniture, food, clothing) and has a resource list to that end. Also, the group offers emotional support to people who just need someone to lend an ear, and physical support to people who need someone to lend a hand.