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Effort Aims to Salvage Sandy Victims' Treasured Memories

by Stephanie Colombini
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RESTORED BY: Genevieve Wolff (Oakland, CA) ||| FAMILY: Liz Sullivan ||| LOCATION: Rockaway Park, Queens, NY

Photo restoration project is giving Sandy victims something to smile about.

Thousands of Sandy victims saw their memories literally wash away with the storm's surging water. 

Staten Island resident Marie Volpe says she almost died in her home awaiting rescue.  Six months after that dark day, she's finally seeing a ray of light.  

"My treasured photo of my parents can be saved."

Volpe's photo is one of thousands getting a second chance.  The Cherished Album Restoration Effort, or CARE for Sandy, is a collective of volunteers who are digitally restoring victims' damaged photos for free.  Brooklyn artist Lee Kelly formed the organization in November, and its been growing rapidly.

Joseph Perinelli attended one of CARE's scanning events in Midland Beach.  He just learned that many of the damaged pictures he had to leave behind when evacuating his Staten Island home during the storm can be saved. 

"You know you just cannot replace them.  Pictures of my grandchildren, so many of them...at the navy reunion - what a joy!  And what they're doing here is great."

CARE's founder Lee Kelly says she hopes the restored photos bring back memories of the moments they once captured, not those of that terrible day.  She says CARE for Sandy will be hard at work for at least another year.  I'm Stephanie Colombini, WFUV News.

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