The effects and damage are still apparent even months after Hurricane Sandy made her way up the Eastern coastline in late October 2012. The super storm displaced thousands of people, many whom lost everything, including family and friends. In times such as these, we struggle to put ourselves in their place, to know what they are feeling. You think, “What if it were to happen to us.” and you immediately want to do something, anything to help. For many, making the trip to the disaster area to give aid is nearly impossible.
We, at Cheap Joe’s, are well aware that thousands of those same people are customers of ours. Friends that we have had the pleasure of serving throughout the years. And we, like others, looked for a way to help those friends and to give them a Big Cheap Joe’s Hug! We did what was natural to us and sent out Diaster Relief Postcards to offer aid in replacing art supplies that were lost due to the storm. We know how important it is to have a way to creatively express your feelings, in times like these, to bring positive healing from the destruction. Adults, as well as, children, can find comfort in something that truly gives them a sense of purpose in times of such unexpected upheaval. We have made this same offer to many others in the past in the wake of previous disasters. Others with similar situations and similar needs.
Soon after the postcards were sent out, we began to receive correspondence from recipients of the cards. Many emailed, some phoned in, others posted comments on our Facebook page and even more sent letters and cards through the mail. There were several who contacted us to accept our offer and we were happy to know they came through the storm with little or no injuries. We evaluated their needs and quickly set into action to help out as much as we could. Providing credits that could be used to purchase paper, paints, and other art materials that perhaps would not be replaced by insurance claims.
However, there were so many more cards, emails, and posts from many who, either, were not directly affected by the storm or did not lose their materials. We were thrilled and relieved to hear that so many of the recipients had little or no damage and they did not have loss of life or property. They just wanted to say “Thank You!” How about that! We were overwhelmed by all of the wonderful comments and well wishes to us for just making the offer. Just for doing something we believe is the right thing to do for neighbors and friends in their time of need. We would do this for our families, friends or local community here in the mountains. All of you are our family and friends, and you are part of our worldwide community. So many of you sent touching stories of your experiences through Hurricane Sandy. What you went through, what you saw and felt. We were so moved by the response that I just wanted to share some of those stories and comments with you.
Below are actual letters, emails, or Facebook posts that were sent from you, our friends and customers.
Dear Cheap Joe’s,
Thank you so much for the card regarding Hurricane Sandy. Although we are very close to NYC, we did not receive too much damage. We were without heat, water, and electric for 10 days. It was a little chilly and primitive living but we made it.
But I was so touched by your kindness towards those who did sustain so much damage and hardship. That was so heartwarming and I wanted to thank you. Our lives are so rushed today and we are disconnecting from each other emotionally, so it’s nice to know there are still caring folks around.
Thank you so much. I enjoy working with your paints and equipment. I am just learning- never thought I had any artistic talent or imagination, but I did some nice watercolors.
Thanks again ,
White Plains, NY
Cheap Joe’s and the Gang,
Never have I received a note like yours.
For all your concern about the damage from Hurricane
Sandy… All we got was rain.
Thank you people for the wonderful gesture to replace any
art supplies lost in the storm. It is seldom that people go out
of their way to help in such a way.
Your loyal customer
Dear Cheap Joe and the Gang,
What a sweet gesture! It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for your offer, but no. We are 15 minutes from the shore. It was devastating for them. The sea came in five blocks away, on the NJ Transit tracks.
We, who lived inland, only suffered from the high winds. Some people got their windows imploded, but thankfully, all we lost was an eight foot statue in our backyard. Two oak trees fell behind that. God Bless all of you. It was a beautiful, thoughtful gesture. Thank you.
Red Bank, NJ
Cheap Joe and the Gang,
I just received your thoughtful card in the mail pertaining to the Mid-Atlantic Northeast Region tropical hurricane. Fortunately, living in the lower coastal area of Delaware, our residence had no damage.
However, as a customer for some of my art supplies from you, I want to “congratulate” Cheap Joe’s for your re-stock offer to those individuals that may be in need. This is a very unique and very different approach to aid your other customers in today’s retail business environment. Outstanding.
D.S.- Have been impressed with your business and how you’ve served my family and me over the years. Will recommend your business to anyone!
Hi – I just received your post card informing Hurricane Sandy victims of your help re-supplying lost art supplies. While my community dodged a bullet I just wanted to thank you for that generous offer and think you are a wonderful company for doing so. I always highly recommend you when it comes to buying art supplies – may you have a wonderful and prosperous New Year!
Dear Cheap Joe and the Gang,
Thank you so much for your card letting victims of hurricane Sandy know that you are there to help artists re-stock their losses. I as a life-long resident of New Jersey can say that the State of New Jersey is on her knees. It is the concern of our fellow Americans that has warmed our hearts and given us hope. We have received help from all over the U.S. and we are very grateful. In the beginning days, I was on the highway and saw fleets of repair trucks from all over the U.S. who came immediately to lend a hand. Thank you to all of you. I am very fortunate and grateful that I and my family did not have any damage or loss. However, I have friends who have lost quite a bit…..Thank you for your concern and your so very beautiful offer to help artists get back on their feet. Your card reduced me to tears of gratitude for your kindness.
Many blessings to you all.
I just received your postcard regarding replacement of art supplies, due to losses by Hurricane Sandy. I was spared any losses and my heart goes out to those who were not as fortunate. I was truly surprised and touched by the generous offer you are offering those individuals. What a great company!! I will definitely be ordering from you in the future.
St. Michaels, MD
Received your postcard today offering help in the wake of the hurricane which caused such devastation to our state. Although I personally did not suffer any damage, I just wanted to say thank you to you for reaching out so generously. It is so heartwarming to realize how we Americans are so compassionate when others need help. Praise God!!
Hello Cheap Joe’s,
I received your post card in the mail today about helping victims of Hurricane Sandy replenish any lost art supplies. I was blessed where I live and did not have damage, aside from water in my basement, even though some communities around me were devastated. I just had to email you to let you know how wonderful I think it is that you have made this offer to folks who may have lost some things or maybe everything. Art is a big part of my life and can sometimes be my stress therapy…so your generosity is likely to mean so much more to those who accept your offer than just replacement of supplies. I have used Cheap Joe’s many times because I like the selection and the prices. Now I have even more reason to like your company and I will do my best to promote it to other artists. Cheap Joe’s is a shining example of why we all should buy from American companies (even though I do understand that not all the material is made in the USA) and why the American people are so great! Even though I do not need to accept your offer (and am grateful for that), I had to write to say “Thank you, and well done!!”
A proud Cheap Joe’s customer,
I would like to thank you for your kindness in offering to replace the loss of art supplies in the recent hurricane. Fortunately I did not have any damage to my art supplies. The water came to about a block from my house, and a very large tree toppled in the wind but missed the garage, the wood pile and the beehive. My son had extensive damage to his home as he lives on a lagoon lot and also a friend lost his house and some of his business. We live about 2 blocks from the Barnegat Bay on the mainland side. The storm surge was very damaging to those living along the bay. The damage to the barrier islands was heartbreaking and the area will not be the same for a very long time.
It is very kind of you to make this offer and it is much appreciated.
Thank you for thinking of us.
Dear Joe and the Gang:
I just received your postcard generously offering me assistance in the aftermath of Sandy. While living in the hills of North Carolina may have insulated you from the experience of a tropical Storm, it has served you well in terms of nurturing a sense of compassion which really hit its mark with me. I owe you a warm thank you. Thank you.
Yeah, we got hit up here, but my husband wisely had placed all my art supplies on a 4 foot half wall in a basement which never had seen more than an inch or two of water before. Seven feet later….you get the picture (unless of course you wanted me to paint it for you) Certainly I lost a lot in the storm, supplies, canvases, and any respect I had for my husband’s skills as an arm chair meteorologist, but those losses pale in comparison to what I have gained. You and those like you, have given me great examples of the better angels of human nature.
Anything that can be replaced by writing a check is an expense. What you have given me goes beyond priceless.
With fond regards
We received your post card today with a huge generous offer to help with the Sandy storm damage to our art.
First of all, thank you again. Last year we were able to take up your offer for the $50.00 gift you gave. That helped greatly. This year, it was even more a shock to receive your post card. There were 15 paintings, canvas, watercolor paper, mats and frames were damaged by water this year in the Sandy flood.
Watercolor paper, 140 cold pressed full sheet size, mats and frames would be huge to have replaced, so that more original paintings could be created again, and then matted and framed. K.M.H. art is Always Original. Never a Print.
Thank you Cheap Joe’s for again stepping up way beyond the call of duty for your generous offer. Please let me know if you need other info or pictures.
Thank you for your very kind offer. Although my office took 9′ of water, my studio was not affected. The devastation here was unbelievable-who would have thought! I’m sure there were many artists affected It’s been a nightmare-adjusters, insurance companies-none of whom want to part with anything-but we are “Jersey Strong” What a wonderful gift you have offered-that’s why “Cheap Joes” is so special. God is good and you all will be rewarded.
Again, thank you.
I just received a postcard offering to help those who have lost their art supplies in the hurricane. This may not seem important to anyone who isn’t an artist, but as an artist, I think this is a wonderful gesture. I live in the area, but I was spared. I just wanted to say thank you. If I can assist you in any way, deliveries, for example; please let me know. I am currently unemployed, so I have the time to help if I can.
Thank you for your kind offer.
Dear Friends at Cheap Joe’s,
I recently received your postcard concerning damage I might have had from the Hurricane Sandy, and your offer of assistance. I wanted to write simply to say, thank you. Your thoughtfulness from all those many miles away touched me so deeply.
Although my area was in the massive path of the hurricane, miraculously my family and home stayed safe while so many within a few miles of us were not. We are doing our part to help our neighbors and it was such a boost to see that card and know that others were thinking of- and caring about- us. My art supplies are safe and sound but I know where to go when I need restocking.
Thank you again for your gesture of goodwill and good supplies. It had a much more profound impact than Sandy ever could.
Happy Holidays to all of you there. May the New Year bring you much prosperity and joy.
All good wishes,
Dear Cheap Joe and the Gang,
Thank you for the postcard offering your concerns to us.
Fortunately, Hurricane Sandy passed right by us up here in Chatham, New York, and we are all fine. And so are your art supplies. My daughter just finished some excellent paintings that we hung on our hallway wall.
They were done on some of your canvas, portraying the six days of creation and the seventh day of rest. Thanks again for your most unusual postcard. God’s blessings on your business!
The D.H. Family
I appreciated receiving your postcard expressing concern for this New Jersey resident. It really warmed my heart and I wanted you to know that.
I live in Morris County in north central NJ,where there were two deaths due to fallen trees, many damaged homes, downed trees about every 20 feet, and power outage that lasted for almost two weeks. Many shore areas, only a little over an hour away, have been decimated as I am sure you know.
Ive attached the watercolors I painted during those two weeks without power, painting was a good outlet during those sad and stressful days.
Thanks again from this Jersey girl,
Hi everyone at Cheap Joes,
I received your postcard about the hurricane sandy offer to help replace artists supplies….. I didn’t not sustain any damage here at my house in Pennsylvania, and do not require anything to be replaced, but I just wanted to let you know how thoughtful and generous your offer is. I am sure that for the people who did suffer so much devastation, your offer has come at the right time to give them a ray of hope. I am thankful for companies like yours who are being so considerate and offering some comfort to these people. If I ever get to Boone, i will surely look you up (we help out with Operation Christmas Child – Samaritans Purse). Your offer has been a blessing to so many, I am sure. By sharing your good fortune, you will be blessed many times over.
“for to whom much is given, much is expected.” God Bless all the Cheap Joes families. And I pray for your company to continue to prosper.
I just have to let you know that I was floored by your offer to replace art supplies damaged by the storm.
Thank God, water rose to the level of our driveway and stopped that horrible night. Some of my neighbors’ houses are uninhabitable and some are still without power in this Northeast cold six weeks later. I live in a small one-story house and the day of the storm I frantically took all my paintings and art supplies off the floor and tried to get as many of my belongings out of harm’s way if the worst happened. I had carriers for my three house rabbits on the kitchen counters ready to get them up if I needed to. There were whitecaps coming down our block as we kept going out in over-60 mph winds checking on the water level as it came up our street.
We were without power and heat for eleven days, which was only an inconvenience compared to what happened to so many other people. This Thanksgiving was particularly meaningful because we did dodge a bullet and knew it.
I wanted to thank you and let you know the depth of the meaning of that offer. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to lose not only paper, and paints and pastels but finished artwork, which is a part of yourself. I think you “get” it.
I haven’t bought much from your company, but plan on giving you my future business and send other artists that I know your way. Thank you again, and thank goodness I don’t need to take you up on you offer.
Hi to Cheap Joe and the Gang,
We received your kind postcard today and we were very humbled by your generous gesture to help Long Islanders who have suffered terribly due to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Thankfully, our home, which sits in the center of Nassau County and not near the shoreline, was spared from flooding, fire and loss of heat and electricity. We were very lucky and lost nothing, especially our art supplies. Over 400 trees came down in our village, taking with them electric poles, lines, lifting cement sidewalks into the air and crashing on top of homes.
We have friends whose home burnt to the ground in the horrific fires that took down 110 homes in Breezy Point, Queens, but thankfully, no fatalities of anyone near or dear to us.
During this disaster, we know that many electric line men from the Carolina’s and Florida and many other states in our wonderful nation arrived so quickly to come to our aid to restore our power and heat. They were our heroes and stuck by us for weeks! We send our heartfelt thanks to them. We met many Carolina line men upstate last year, also, following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene.
Somehow, some way, we New Yorkers found the strength to join together to get beyond our 9/11/2001 grief and we will, once again, pull together for each other and help to rebuild our communities and our beautiful beaches!
Thank you, again, it was nice hearing from you! Wishing everyone a joyous and blessed Christmas and a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2013!
PEACE ON EARTH!
Garden City, Long Island, New York
These are just a drop in the bucket. There are many more, and too many to mention! But we would like to acknowledge the fact that we appreciate the incredible response of “thank yous” and well wishes. We know you have a choice in where you purchase your art needs and we appreciate that you have chosen us. You are the reason we are able to act when others are in need and offer even a little comfort during those rough times. We, in turn, want to say “Thank You!” to all of you, our friends and neighbors, for supporting our small hometown business when you have so many other art suppliers to choose from. It is our desire to continue to provide the best art stuff at the best value and especially the best customer service in the business. If you have a problem, don’t hesitate to let us know. Your comments and suggestions make us a better company. And we strive everyday to improve for you!
It is always our hope that we will one day retire the Disaster Postcard Program because there is no need. But as long as there is a need, and we have the resources to continue, we will.
A special “Thank You” to everyone who sent a letter, email, or called or posted on Facebook. We appreciate you so much!
Oh, and you could do us a special favor, go out and give someone a Big Hug from Cheap Joe and the Cheap Joe’s Gang!
Happy Big Hug Day!