Hurricane Sandy brought out the best of us Jersey Shore locals. Yeah, we got our ass kicked. No doubt about that. But the result was an outpouring of support from every corner of the state, country and globe for that matter. It restored my faith in humanity. At least temporarily.

After the storm, Atlantic Highlands resident Allbriton Robins and fellow Brooklyn artist Hema Patel, both creative directors at New York advertising agencies, decided they wanted to do their part to give back and remember the storm that changed the landscape of the coast forever. 

Robbins tells us, “I was really shocked at the devastation that came in the wake of Sandy, seeing all of the places I know and love swept away made me want to do something to help. Being a designer I kind of went back to what I know best and started working with a medium that embody the shore and (to) memorialize Sandy – drift wood.”


The two started Drift Relief, a charity art project that uses wood and debris washed ashore by Sandy with proceeds going to those who lost it all. Part of the idea behind the project was not to forget the memories and the damage left in Sandy’s wake.

“We collected lots of wood from Sea Bright, Sandy Hook and Long Branch, ” says Robbins. “Each piece kind of tells you how it wants to be painted in a way. I like to take cues from the colors in the area… nautical themes, beach clubs etc. We then label them with a number and the location in which they were found.”

Every piece of art has a metal tag inscribed with the town where the driftwood was discovered and serve as reminders of each pieces story and each town’s history.


“I think the biggest thing (learned) was seeing how real the effects of global warming are, like being able to walk over a sand dune where a beach bar once stood and know that we did this, ” says Robbins.

All artwork can be seen and purchased online at A local art show is also currently in the works.

“Right now we’re working with Sea Bright Rising, with the hopes of becoming our own nonprofit in the future. Any angel investors want to do something cool?”


But you don’t have to be an investor with huge pockets to make a difference. Prices range in the $150 to $450 range however keep in mind that money is going to a great local charity. You can also have your own piece commissioned for $500.

Robbins tells us, “the response (so far) has been amazing. Within the first couple of weeks we’d sold out of everything on the site and raised thousands of dollars.”

Help them raise thousands more!

For updated info visit

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