Superstorm Sandy Victims Will Have Photos Restored

Volunteers from 21 countries will be accessing the images and making repairs free of charge

Superstorm Sandy left a lot of heartbreak and devastation in its wake. One of the most painful losses many victims experienced was the loss of family photographs but thanks to a little computer magic and a traveling team of restoration artists, many of these photos are being restored.

The Cherished Albums Restoration Effort (CARE) is restoring many of the cherished family photos damaged or destroyed by the killer storm. At a free Red Hook event, Lee Kelly, whose volunteer crew is reviving snapshots of the storm victims’ first dates, graduations and vacations, said, “In no way can I comprehend what they are going through.” Yet, she is using her digital wizardry to restore the irreplaceable mementos.

“It’s just story after story,” said Kelly, the Park Slope freelance creative director whose photographers, computer specialists and graphic designers scanned thousands of photographs into a computer to make the digital repairs. Eighty-two year old Shirley Swiss, whose Mill Basin house was flooded, lost her 1948 wedding album in the storm waters. “I think I was numb for days,” she said. “It was the history of my beginning with my husband.” Shirley’s daughter retrieved the album and brought it to CARE where they will attempt to restore the photos.

With 450 photographers from 21 countries accessing the images to make the repairs, it is truly a worldwide effort. Up to 100 photographs per family will be restored by the volunteers. “It gives you a good feeling,” said 56-year-old volunteer Ali Green. She has restored a picture of two naked children playing in a garden and some wedding photos.

Once all the repairs have been made the photographs will be returned to their owners electronically. New Jersey, Long Island and Staten Island are also planned stops for Kelly and her traveling CARE crew.


Porter Photo Repair ( is a photo repair specialist working closely with you. Your photos are personal, so your restoration project should be, too. You get direct contact with the person doing your restoration work, not automated messages.

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