Lost Photographs Become Woman's Mission Following Hurricane's Damage reports Wondershare
More than 2,000 pictures posted to Facebook
Jeannette Van Houten, who was among 200 residents in the small seaside community who lost their homes, found a calling among the ruins and devastation of the 6,500-resident city.
Walking along the beach the day after the storm blew through, Van Houten came across a photograph of a couple taken while attending a wedding. After finding a few other scattered photos, she decided upon her mission.
"Photos are the only things that hold us to the past," Van Houten said. "My niece was murdered in 2008, and the only thing we have left of her is our photos."
After finding more photographs during her sojourn around town, Van Houten created a Facebook where she uploaded all of the pictures that she discovered. She hopes the pictures are reunited the photos with those who had lost them in the storm.
Since then, Van Houten has posted more than 2,000 pictures to the Facebook page and continues to look for more to upload. To date, approximately 60 families have claimed lost photos and more people have joined Van Houten in her quest.
Among those who have found lost photos on the Facebook page is Leeann Lewandowski, who saw a picture of her late mother on Van Houten's page.
"The first thing I see on my Facebook page is my mother holding my daughter, Katie, on the day that she was born," Lewandowski said. "I'm usually a very cheery person, but I absolutely crumbled."
Union Beach resident Pamela Vasquez also found pictures of hers on Van Houten's Facebook page, such as baby picture of her now-grown children.
"You hold your memories in your heart, but yet to be able to look back, it's amazing," Vasquez said. "My husband's parents are both gone, and we had a picture of both of them in our living room. We don't have them anymore. It's nice that somebody's out there trying to find your memories and give them back to you."
Vasquez has joined others in searching for scattered photos, sending all that she finds to the local police station to be uploaded onto the Facebook page.
Residents in other Jersey Shore communities have followed Van Houten's lead in searching for lost memories.
A similar project, known as The Picture Project, was started in the Gulf Coast in 2005 following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. Sue Weber, started the project in conjunction with Kodak, the Biloxi Sun Herald and other companies and was able to return thousands of photos to their owners.
Wondershare (http://www.wondershare.com/disk-utility/iphone-photo-recovery.html) produces software for saving memories, such as smartphone applications, multimedia tools, and system utilities. Wondershare has a full line of products for preserving photos, videos, movies, music, and other forms of media. Visit the website to learn more about their iPhone photo recovery.
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