RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - "There were houses that were moved off of their foundations and just floated away. Cars floated away and unfortunately people floated away and never made it back," said Carol Marshall.
Hoping to escape the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, even if just for a weekend, Marshall from Edison, N.J., says she wound up in the Coachella Valley.
"I just wanted a break from all of the devastation and kind of all the sadness and things that are going on right in my neighborhood," said Marshall.
Left without water and power for days back home, she found more comfort than expected on her getaway after getting word of a Hurricane Sandy benefit at the Stadium House in Rancho Mirage. She saw the dozens of people out to help her and her neighbors on the East Coast.
"It was so heartwarming. I said, 'We have to go, this is way too important that people are caring way across the country,'" she said.
The event featured live bands and performances, a fashion show and raffles throughout the night. All proceeds will go directly to the American Red Cross' Sandy relief efforts.
Stadium House also collected canned goods for the desert's FIND Food Bank to replace supplies recently sent to the eastern seaboard.
"If we have an emergency out here, we're going to hope the rest of the country comes and helps us. I think that's what drives us," said Stephanie Greene, a volunteer for the event.
"Everybody's in a mood to give and donate and help out. I think they're thinking of all of the people going through the rough times out there," said Jeff Michaels, of La Quinta.
Marshall says it's back, not to the Jersey Shore on Tuesday, instead to the "Jersey Strong."
"It's a reality check of what really is important ... people are now happy that they're just survivors," said Marshall.