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Gifts for Groms event to help kids affected by Sandy

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

A non-profit organization based in Rockaways, Long Beach and the Jersey Shore since November, hosted a "Gifts for Groms" event Saturday afternoon. 

The Gifts for Groms event took place at unsOund Surf Shop in Long Beach and provides kids affected by Hurricane Sandy new wetsuits, surf equipment and gift cards to purchase additional surf gear needs from the local surf shops.  

From the Jersey Shore, to the Rockaways, to Long Beach –- countless businesses are rebuilding and making repairs -- hoping for their grand reopening's soon. 

In surfing slang, the word "Grom" means young surfer and junior wave riders in Long Beach have been through a lot. 

"They lost a lot of stuff in the Hurricane." 

Al Lent's two sons were among the 25 kids who received new wetsuits and gear from the unsOund Surf Shop. 

"It's been a slow process. The businesses are coming back. The people are supporting the business and obviously the businesses are supporting the people," said Lent. 

"The idea was to keep the young surfing community alive."  

Jon Rose of Waves for Water organized the Grom Giveaway, not just for the Groms, but the business as well. Every family received a gift card to buy stuff in the store. 

"It's really looking at small business -- pillars of the community. Getting back on their feet … it's tough," said Rose.     

Yes it's tough, but there are signs of hope in many ocean front communities. In hard hit Seaside Heights, portions of the Boardwalk have been reopened. 

On Fire Island, deliveries are coming in on a daily basis and businesses are back open. 

"Summer season is most important." 

Just in time Dave Juan says. He owns the unsOund Surf Shop and it was completely rebuilt after the storm. 

"You've got to get out there and let people know you're still open," said Juan.               

And not going anywhere.

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