Jennifer Crawford wasn’t going to stand by and do nothing while the Jersey Shore she loved as a child was churned into a wreckage-strewn mess by Hurricane Sandy last fall. Since then, relief efforts have poured in to homeowners and business owners, from sources including Uncle Sam to celebrity fundraisers.
Crawford (left) wanted to help, too. The 1998 graduate of Catholic University’s law school chose a different route and has just penned her first book, a children’s story titled "No Sand in the House!"
Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to charitable organizations that are working to clean and rebuild the Jersey Shore.
Crawford grew up in Verona, New Jersey, but spent as much time as she could each spring and summer being a beach bum on LBI—Long Beach Island.
Crawford’s own parents lost the entire first floor of their rental property at LBI, and many families have suffered much worse.
“I felt like this project was one small thing that I could do to contribute and to give children a sense of comfort as they head back to the Shore this summer,” says Crawford, who served for ten years as an attorney for the Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps at U.S. locations and overseas locales, including Korea, Germany and Iraq.
"No Sand in the House!" takes place on LBI but will appeal to anyone who spends time at the Jersey Shore.
“The main characters, Abby and Charlie, spend much of the book trying to figure out how to comply with their Grandpa's number one rule: no sand in the house,” explains Crawford. “You can imagine the creative ways that the children try to keep the sand out and what happens once Hurricane Sandy brings the sand in! It is, essentially, a story of hope.”
Following due diligence, Crawford selected three worthy organizations as the recipients of whatever profits her book generates:
Crawford lives in Charlottesville, Virginia these days, where she continues to serve as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve and as a military spouse.
She and her family still spend summers on Long Beach Island. As the summer beach season arrives and with the one-year anniversary of the storm coming up in October 2013, her supporters are mindful of how Crawford is trying to help.
One fan left a note on the book’s Web site: “Congratulations, and thanks for putting your creativity to work in support of the NJ relief efforts. Always Jersey Strong!”