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Social Media Page Reuniting Owners with 'Treasures' Lost During Sandy

Hurricane Sandy's Lost Treasures page on Facebook a resource for those who have lost personal effects

When a plaque that served as a memorial for her late husband went missing from Mantoloking during Hurricane Sandy's wrath, Lori Juliano-Slack said her heart was broken.

About two months later, it was spotted about 5 miles away in Lavallette, stuck in the sand and leaning against a home. Shannon Swift, who runs the Hurricane Sandy's Lost Treasures Facebook page along with Holly Sprick, posted a photo to the social networking website.

"Within a day a friend of the owners wrote us to tell us who it belonged to," Swift said. Arrangements were made and the plaque was back with the family.

"It means the world to my son and I to have it. I am not sure how to express my gratitude to you," Juliano-Slack wrote on the page. Her "treasure" is among the about 150 that Swift and Sprick have help reunite with their owners.

The pair founded the page on Nov. 11 after seeing the devastation Sandy left behind. 

"We grew up being on the island all the time," said Swift, who lives in Toms River; Sprick lives in Franklin but has a summer home in Seaside Park that was flooded by Sandy.

Inspiration for the page came when Sprick saw a Facebook post that a sign belonging to her Seaside Park neighbor was found in Brick, at least 7 miles away.

"We realized how far things might have traveled from the storm," Swift said. "We saw many people who lost so much and know that even the smallest memento could mean everything to someone."

These items include photos, memorial plaques, letters and even bigger items like a boat. Pictures of found or missing items are posted daily, as are ideas their origins.

About 375 found items are currently posted to the Facebook page, and another 100 residents searching for lost goods have asked there for help, Swift said.

With over 3,300 followers, Swift said that postings to the page — which commonly are shared among users' friends — can garner a response "within as little as a minute after the photo posts."

The community effort appears to be catching on. Swift and Sprick are involved in cleanups and post photos of personal items found during those efforts. 

Sue February 06, 2013 at 02:24 PM
7 miles inland! Selfish people think their views are more important than my safety and my home. Use eminent domain to build dunes and replenish beaches. To hell with their damn views!
Michelle V February 06, 2013 at 03:14 PM
i FOUND SOME PICTURES IN ORTLEY -- HOW DO I POST THEM TO THIS SITE?
Gregory Kyriakakis (Editor) February 06, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Hi Michelle, here's the link again: http://www.facebook.com/HurricaneSandysLostTreasures
shorefriend February 06, 2013 at 03:33 PM
There is part of the Lavallette boardwalk at my mother-in-law’s house anyone want it?
Disgusted February 06, 2013 at 05:32 PM
If anyone finds any other "in memory" bench signs, please let me know....A dear friend had one for her mother on the boardwalk at Forte in Lav.
grace February 06, 2013 at 07:02 PM
this is actually a nice thing...
paradise lost February 06, 2013 at 07:53 PM
What a wonderful idea!
Dollyb February 06, 2013 at 10:11 PM
How big is it? We are in Lavallette. Please contact me. Thanks
Shannon Swift February 07, 2013 at 03:03 AM
We have many bench memorial plaques that have been found on the page. Take a look at our found album to see if it was found. If not please post a description or photo so we can help find it for your friend. Let them know not to give up hope as many things are still being found!
Shannon Swift February 07, 2013 at 03:03 AM
Hi Michelle, you can post on the link Gregory gave or email the photos to us at HurricaneSandysLostTreasures@gmail.com. We hope to help you find the owners!

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