The first floor of his family’s Long Beach home, where he was born and raised, was destroyed. The floors, furniture and even family videos were ruined. Golia also lost a car, and his garage was flooded with four feet of water.
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Despite his own substantial loses, the Iona College student was determined to find a way to raise money for other victims of Sandy.
“Although I had extensive damage on my own home, I knew there were people who were in worse shape than me,” said Golia, who described seeing the devastation in Long Beach for the first time as “surreal.”
“I felt like I was in a war zone,” he added. Golia came up with the idea to sell customized t-shirts and sweatshirts to raise money.
He reached out to his friend Brian O’Neill, a life-long Malverne resident and fellow Holy Trinity High School alumnus, who immediately jumped on board.
“Although I don't live in a beach community, most of my friends do and were affected by the storm,” said O’Neill. “Seeing all the destruction made me want to help out as much as possible and making t-shirts seemed like a great idea to raise money.”
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The duo named their mission “Revive the Coastline.”
O’Neill, an illustration major at The Fashion Institute of Technology, used his skills to do the designing for the project.
Then he and Golia set up a website and used social media to get the word out. So far they have raised over $2,700, more than double their initial goal of $1,000.
“We have seen a tremendous amount of support in the last few weeks,” said Golia. “We did not expect to be this successful.”
Mike LoCurto, a partner of NaturalBodyInc.com, contributed to the success of the project. He volunteered to set up the Revive the Coastline website, enabling the sales to be conducted online.
“Mike has gone above and beyond,” Golia said.
“We would not be able to sell online without him. He was a key player in this initiative.”
Another big contributor was Michael Prokop, owner of New York City clothing company Crwwnd Industries.
“Mike donated the screens and gave us great prices on the blanks and printing so that we were able to donate the most possible money to charity,” stated Golia.
One hundred percent of the money raised is being donated to Waves for Water, which coordinated a full-fledged Hurricane Relief Initiative in response to Sandy.
“It’s great to see how much support we are getting and that all the money will be going to help hurricane victims,” said O’Neill.
If you are interested in purchasing a Revive the Coastline T-shirt or sweatshirt, you can visit the official website or the Facebook page.
Story by Laura Urban
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