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N.J. siblings lose parents in superstorm Sandy

Richard and Elizabeth Everett and their children.
Richard and Elizabeth Everett and their children. Wish Upon a Hero

A foundation is coming to the aid of a New Jersey college student who is caring for her three younger siblings after their parents were killed during Superstorm Sandy, CBS New York reported.

Zoe Everett, 19, was studying for an exam at Rutgers University on Oct. 29 when she received a call informing her that her parents had died.

The couple, identified by The Star-Ledger as Richard and Elizabeth Everett of Randolph, had been driving through Mendham Township in northern New Jersey when a 100-foot-tall tree fell on their pickup truck. Zoe's two younger brothers, aged 14 and 11, who had been sleeping in the back seat, sustained minor injuries.

"I now have two goals: caring for and being guardian of my three younger siblings and keeping my family in the house we grew up in," the 19-year-old wrote to the Wish Upon a Hero Foundation, adding that money was "stuck in limbo."

While Zoe wrote that she would be strong, wise and patient for her siblings, who also include a 17-year-old sister, she said she could not deny her family needed help paying for groceries and bills in the coming months.

The foundation raised more than $56,000 for the Everett family in less than 24 hours, a sum Zoe said "exceeded our wildest dreams."

"The donations have ensured our well-being for the next few months and will hold us over until we are able to access our own funds," she wrote in a thank-you message on the foundation's website. "If there is something we strive for, it is to be as benevolent and giving as our parents were."

Zoe said the needs of her family had been met and said she and her siblings "would like to draw attention and further donations to other individuals whose needs have not yet been met."

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