As the New Jersey area continues to recover from last week's storm, local celebrities are donating their sizable talents to various events benefiting storm-torn residents. You know, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Snooki ...

Right. Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and the rest of the "Jersey Shore" gang is teaming with nonprofit Architecture for Humanity to put on "Restore the Shore," a special benefit set to air live Nov. 15 on MTV.

MTV is, of course, the channel that broadcasts "Jersey Shore," the reality show that has offended a great many people -- especially those who live on the Jersey shore.

Still, this is a very serious situation and, naturally, public figures would want to leverage their celebrity status to help out in their own backyard. It's a credit to the cast members, and they deserve kudos -- not that anyone is implying that drawing publicity and public kudos is their main motivation. It goes without saying that seeing one's hometown torn up by Mother Nature has to be awful.

I know -- you're waiting for the "but" ... .

BUT out here in sunny California, many of us don't know much about New Jersey or Snooki, Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino, Jenni "JWoww" Farley, or the rest of the reality show cast, outside of what we see on "Jersey Shore." All we know about New Jersey is that it's a place Bruce Springsteen sings about a lot, and its Republican governor won't say President Obama is the devil. As for the "Jersey Shore" cast members: They drink. They fight. They dress badly, they work out and get their hair and nails done.

And those are the guys.

Hey, people pitch in as best they can. If (when?) the Big One hits out here, and whatever taqueria at which I happen to be inhaling more calories than my body should logically be able to handle doesn't collapse around my salsa-splashed face, I would use whatever talents I have to help out. Which, sadly, isn't enough to raise more than five or six bucks.

I once helped organize a benefit after Hurricane Katrina, in conjunction with radio station KSAN-FM 107.7 (The Bone), back when I was a music writer. It was a lot of hard work. We convinced some big name local musicians to come from all over (some had moved around the country) to perform and raise money for New Orleans. It worked out beautifully. But it was a lot of work.

That means I have a lot of respect for anyone trying to do something like this, even just to show up and give their valuable time ... (here comes another) ... BUT the folks at The Bone and I had proven talent doing what they do best.

So ... what will the "Jersey Shore" kids do to raise money?

Shots for charity

Their talents, so far, seem to reside in drinking, having drunken sex with each other, getting into drunken arguments and fights with each other ... you get the idea. There's a lot of drinking involved. It's not the most highbrow show (he wrote, delicately, because he has on occasion been accused of being somewhat less than sophisticated, and because no one wants to look like they're criticizing someone who's performing good deeds).

OK, call it bad taste for a good cause. Is that a good idea?

And if they do somehow pull it off -- maybe the nation is ready to pledge a dollar amount per shot of tequila consumed -- is this the beginning of more reality stars stepping forward for higher causes? Will the "Real Housewives" slap-fight at the next MS telethon? Will Kris Jenner auction off her daughters for breast cancer awareness? Will Honey Boo Boo do ... whatever she does ... for the rights of home-schooled pet chickens?

Why not? Ultimately, it's a good cause. That's what really matters.

Contact Tony Hicks at thicks@bayareanewsgroup.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks.