Mississippi rockers 3 Doors Down and American Idol season five alum Chris Daughtry joined forces to help "Restore the Shore," giving a $15,000 donation to New Jersey charity Hometown Heroes.
Brad Arnold, 3DD's singer, invited Hometown Heroes founder Mike Schwartz and executive director Jennifer Barna on stage at Asbury Park's Convention Hall, where he and Daughtry presented a check from the group's The Better Life Foundation.
Schwartz said that 3 Doors Down reached out to Hometown Heroes, a non-profit from Toms River, NJ, because they felt a kinship with the area which was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy in October.
"Brad and the guys found us," he said. "They told us that they went through this with Hurricane Katrina, and they wanted to repay New Jersey for all the aid that came from our state. So they looked for a local charity to make sure the money got to the people who needed it."
The musicians were clearly moved by the plight of shore residents -- Arnold donned a "Restore the Shore" T-shirt before the band's encore, "Kryptonite," and Daughtry dedicated the song "We're Not Gonna Fall" to the audience with a call to rebuild.
"You are a community," he told the crowd. "You are New Jersey!"
After the show, Arnold and Daughtry spent a considerable amount of time meeting with Schwartz and Barna, discussing efforts to provide aid to citizens still displaced from their homes (see photo below).
An Dec. 9 show with country star Martina McBride at Monmouth University will also benefit Hometown Heroes, which was founded in 2008 to provide assistance to the "community at large" and help any individual or family in a time of crisis. Since Sandy, Schwartz said the organization has helped local families with "whatever they need," be it paying bills or finding a security deposit for shelter when their FEMA assistance runs out.
In addition, Restore the Shore shirts are sold on the Hometown Heroes website, with proceeds going directly to Sandy victims.
From left: Jennifer Barna, a Daughtry fan, Brad Arnold from 3 Doors Down (wearing a "Restore the Shore" shirt), Chris Daughtry and Michael Schwartz.