Facebook Reunites Precious Lost Photos With Owners After Hurricane Sandy

Inspiring 2

The frame is engraved with loving words about fatherhood, and while battered and stained, you can still see that the picture shows a beaming dad and daughter on a fishing trip together. An image of the frame was posted on Facebook, along with the following text: "Do you recognize the people in this picture? This washed up in the Bay Head/Mantoloking area of New Jersey, one of the communities decimated by Hurricane Sandy. ... we’d like to give a little piece of home back to this person if possible."

The photo, posted by a resident of Bay Head, New Jersey, quickly racked up hundreds of likes and 1,300 shares. Within hours, Aimee Lazewski had seen it. “That’s me and my dad!!!!” she wrote on Facebook. “I’m so happy you found this, thank you!!"

Lazewski's happy story is one of many, as heartwarming efforts continue via Facebook to reunite lost photos with their owners in the wake of Sandy's destruction.

Many residents were forced to evacuate carrying only minimal supplies, and when the storm hit, thousands of precious family photos were swept away. The Daily Beast has a mesmerizing slideshow of some of the albums and photos found in Sandy's wake -- some undoubtedly irreplaceable mementos.

Lazewski said the photo posted on Facebook was given to her dad as a Father's Day gift 10 years ago, and it was lost when her parents' ground floor was flooded with the surge.

I have such mixed emotions ... so happy it was found but sad that it was washed away in the first place along with so many other personal items for everyone affected. Reaching out like this means so much. (...) I just couldn’t believe I was looking at myself and that there was somebody searching for me. I thought it was so touching that somebody took the time, when they have their own stuff going on, to reach out and find out who it belonged to and where it came from. It’s the first step of picking up the pieces.

The Jersey Shore Hurricane News has since posted many more photos via the For Shore page, with hundreds of comments showing up on each one as group members work to find the owners. There's a similar page called Hurricane Sandy's Lost Treasures, where people are also sharing tips about how to dry out and preserve found photos.

I know we often focus on the less-wholesome side of Facebook -- the privacy stuff, their questionable photo policies -- but this is such a great use of the technology. Those pictures may just be objects, but most of us can probably agree it would be a nightmare to lose them.

Did you know about this post-Sandy Facebook effort? Would you be devastated if you lost your family pictures?


Image via Liyin/Flickr

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nonmember avatar Heather

They did the same thing here after the Joplin, MO tornado. I believe there were a few things found in other states, and a lot of it got returned because of a few Facebook groups.

Jeannie Esti

Thank you, Linda for sharing our efforts. I run the For Shore page and it's been one of the most rewarding endeavors of my life. It's truly bittersweet to witness, as it's never lost on me that the people claiming these photos have had much of their homes destroyed by this storm. It's been an honor to work with JSHN and Hurricane Sandy's Lost Treasures, as well as the retailers, who have been willing to be repositories for us for pictures. The police have helped, visitors and volunteers, landscapers and contractors all looking to do something that may seem small by bending over and protecting that one photograph found. But as you read, that one photograph is a memory and marker for a life that is forever changed. Thank you again for your support. We ask that your readers come join our page and be a part of this. It only works if they do. www.facebook.com/forshorephotos and www.forshorephotos.com

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