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Helping Sandy victims save their photos

November 28, 2012 3:00:14 PM PST
"Care for Sandy" (or "The Cherished Albums Restoration Effort") is trying to help the victims of the storm recover some of the precious photos they feared had been lost forever along with many of their other belongings.

"I truly feel privileged to be helping so many people," Lee Kelly, a freelance creative director, said.

Kelly reached out to her contacts in the creative community for volunteers to help with the free photo restorations.

"It's been incredible. I have global volunteers from Brazil, from the Netherlands, from Sweden, from Canada, from Korea from all over saying we'd love to help," she said.

"It gives me a great deal of pleasure," Martin Rigby, a volunteer, said.

Rigby says he understands why bringing new life to a favorite photo badly damaged by fire during the storm is so important to families desperate to hold on to something after losing so much.

"It's a connection to memories. It's a connection to people. It's information that makes us who we are," Rigby said.

"Everything was just underwater and nothing - very, very little was salvageable," Pat Gallagher of Far Rockaway said.

Gallagher was sure most of her family photos were gone when Sandy flooded the basement of her home, but she took her salt-water damaged prints to be scanned at a out a local "Care for Sandy" event.

A picture of her husband, Chris, as a boy was the first to be restored.

"If you save a little something, there's something to go forward with," Gallagher said.

So far, more than 400 photos have been uploaded to the "Care for Sandy" website. There are also tips on salvaging photos, which Lee Kelly says are universally appreciated.

"You can replace your cars, your home, your clothes, your job, but you can't replace these precious photographs and precious memories," Kelly said.

ONLINE: www.careforsandy.org

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