Oceanside may have been hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, but another Oceanside wasn’t. Oceanside, Calif., that is.
Oceanside’s sister city across the country heard about the storm’s devastation, and many of its residents have decided to help the East Coast Ocean-side.
So their Chamber of Commerce has collected money to buy gift cards to donate to our Chamber of Commerce. So far the West Coast Chamber has raised more than $4,000, which it turned into gift cards and sent to the Chamber here.
“I’d been watching the news about Sandy, and they briefly mentioned Oceanside,” said David Nydegger, president and CEO of the Oceanside, Calif., Chamber. “And I said to myself, Why can’t the Chamber of Commerce in Oceanside, California, help the Chamber of Commerce in Oceanside, New York? … [I]t’s been great so far.”
In addition to donations from their local businesses, the Californians started a Facebook campaign to help raise more money. For each “like” their Facebook page received, their Chamber donated $1 to the East Coast Oceanside Chamber. “I thought that maybe we’d get 500 or 600 [dollars],” Nydegger said. “Well, it was like 4,000. So we donated $2,000. That was my limit on that, unfortunately.”
The group also held its annual mixer last week and donated all of its proceeds — $570 — to Oceanside, N.Y. Nydegger said he hopes to raise a total of $10,000 for Oceanside.
Gail Carlin, the president of the local Oceanside Chamber, has been receiving the donations from Nydegger. “We were very, very grateful and thankful for their generosity and support,” she said. “It was a wonderful gesture on their part. It was truly magnificent.”
Carlin said that the problem she has now is figuring out who to give the gift cards to. The Chamber plans to give them to its 64 active members first. They can use the cards, which are either for Lowe’s or Walmart, to rebuild their businesses or homes. Those who don’t want to use the cards can give them back to the Chamber. Once all of the members have been offered the cards, Carlin explained, the Chamber will give them out to residents and other businesses.
“We’re keeping a list of people and businesses in need,” she said. “We’re expecting more donations.”
Carlin added that those who are interested in getting gift cards should visit the Chamber’s website, www.oceansidechamber.org, and send a message under the “Contact Us” tab.