Toms River ‘adopts’ Texas town devastated by Hurricane Harvey

The town of Toms River has “adopted’ the town of Beaumont, Texas, a town struggling to recover from the effects of Hurricane Harvey.
Many of Toms River’s residents say that they can relate to what Beaumont residents are going through because they themselves dealt with similar conditions after Superstorm Sandy.
“The mayor said he wanted to help out, and Beaumont was so much like our twin city in Texas we thought it would be a perfect fit,” says Toms River Police Chief Mitch Little.
Toms River officials, Toms River Schools, town residents and even local food pantries gathered gift cards, letters and support to send to Beaumont.
“There was no thought. It reminded us way too much of what happened here in Sandy,” says Patricia Donaghue with People’s Pantry. “The world was so generous to us and we thought we had to do something.”
Students from Toms River schools also got into the mix to help with donations.
“I think the kids have a true connection, a real connection, with what happened,” says Silver Bay Elementary School principal Michael Devita. “They lived it through Superstorm Sandy.”
"I would like to say, just push through it. Things will get better,” says fifth-grader Blaise Boland.
Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames says that her citizens are grateful for all of the support.
“It could have been a horrible loss of life and we did not have that situation, so I think we know this Thanksgiving what we are thankful for,” she says. “Harvey brought us the downpour, but Toms River is sending us the outpour, so we appreciated that so much.”
Beaumont saw about 59 inches of rain during Hurricane Harvey.
Toms River is still collecting gift card donations at the public schools, township office, police station and the People's Pantry.