VIDEO: Somers Point Resident in Finals for Salvation Army Giving SpreePosted:
ATLANTIC CITY - A Somers Point resident is in the finals for a Salvation Army Giving Spree.
“In 2013, Atlantic City was ranked number eight in the top 10 most unfriendly cities in the world," said Matthew Verderose. "That was a year after Hurricane Sandy. A year later, it was ranked number two. You know, everyone comes to the casinos, but no one cares about the people. The kids in Atlantic City are economically disadvantage. They have so much potential in them, they just need love to bring that out.”
And that’s exactly what Matthew Verderose plans to do if he wins the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Reason contest with his video. The video editor says he has a talent for storytelling and wanted to use it to bring Atlantic City into the spotlight.
“There’s a lot of great people within Atlantic City," said Verderose. "There’s a lot of talented people, crazy people, you know, either black, white, any race, they’re awesome people.”
Verderose entered the contest at the end of November and later found out he made it to the top five. The winner of the contest gets to donate toys to underprivileged children in their area, paid for by the Salvation Army. He used footage from a documentary he’s been working on since 2013, called “Light Beyond the Storm,” which focuses on Atlantic City after Hurricane Sandy.
“I went in thinking that everything was going to be fine, and there’s going to be people back in their houses, but really, I didn’t find that," said Verderose. "That kind of was like, a birth into my heart for this city.”
Voting ends tonight for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Reason Contest. If Matthew wins 1st place, he will personally pick out toys for the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City, for the children to take home.
“We’re challenged in a lot of different ways, just being able to receive those types of gifts, and offer our kids the gifts, and be able to take something home for Christmas, and definitely a blessing to be able to provide for our children," said Brian Little, Program Director. "So I thought that was great, great, great idea for Matthew to donate his winnings and proceeds to the Boys and Girls Club.”
"Either if I don’t win or I do win, it doesn’t matter, there’s awareness for Atlantic City,” said Verderose.
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