Today's "From the Driver's Seat" column about a Wilton-organized relief effort to help Staten Island victims of Hurricane Sandy has touched a chord. Many readers responded by reaching out to let Patch know of their similar plans to collect items and donations for those affected by the storm.
There is one important thing to keep in mind, according to Torie Clancy, one of the organizers of Sunday's donation drive.
"Just to share important lessons we learned over the past few days, many donor's best intents can inadvertently create extra work for volunteers inside the disaster zones. Most of the shelters are now overrun with clothing. Needs are ever-changing, so rather than good intentions ending up creating a second problem, check with sources where you're offering help to find out specific needs. Whether it's cleaning and building supplies or personal care items, it's best to try and collect what they need rather than what you think they need. A really good resource is www.occupysandy.com, which provides current updates on each area's needs."
As of this morning we've learned of the following efforts where you can help. Please feel free to post information on other efforts in the comments.
The Wood Family/Jeanine Hussey for Breezy Point, NY
The Wood family is helping in a relief effort to support our good friend and Miller-Driscoll 1st grade teacher, Jeanine Hussey. Many of her family members and friends lost their entire houses in Breezy Point, NY. Donations can be made at the Woods' House at 511 Danbury Road in Wilton. Also, items can be sent in to the Miller-Driscoll school with students as the teachers are all aware of these efforts. Krissy Wood and her family will deliver everything they collect to the shelters on Saturday, November 10. The items they specified as needing:
- School supplies
- Cleaning supplies
- Paper towels
- Toilet paper
- Canned soup, canned goods, fruit
- Shampoo, conditioner
- Diapers, baby food, formula, baby powder, ointment
- Pots, pans, dishes
- Trash bags
- work gloves
- flashlights and batteries
UPDATE (3:22 pm)--the list above has been updated to reflect changing needs. The organizers ask that NO clothes be donated as they already have enough.
There is an additional drop off location at the Chase Bank branch at 33 Old Ridgefield Road.
Janet Siegel for Central New Jersey
Wilton resident Janet Siegel is helping on behalf of her close friends' not-for-profit, RAINE (RAINEfoundation.com) in central New Jersey, and says they are in desperate need of both supplies and volunteers. RAINE is providing hot meals as well as clothing and supplies to those in need. They have delivered meals for over 6,000 people in the last few days alone.
Volunteers who show up will be put to work doing whatever needs doing at the time. Kids middle school age and older are more than welcome to come help out as long as they want to work. This is a great way to be in the trenches really making a difference. If you would like to volunteer, contact Janet at firstname.lastname@example.org. The location is: Beers Street School in Hazlet, NJ (approximately 2 hours form Wilton).
The Siegel family will be collecting donated supplies at their home, 130 Belden Hill Rd, Wilton (around the back by the garage) and delivering them over the next few days. Here is a list of the most needed items:
- "to go" food containers (plastic storage containers to get the meals out to the masses)
- D batteries
- Non-perishable foods
- Toiletries (shampoos, soaps)
Erin Adams, daughter of Breezy Point, NY Fire Chief
Wilton resident Erin Adams is the daughter of the Breezy Point, NY volunteer fire department chief Marty Ingram. Despite the devastating fire and flood, with 111 homes lost to the fire and the remaining ones damaged by floodwaters, the community is picking up the pieces. You can read more about Ingram's role in this article.
Adams has provided information on what she called two well-organized funds that can forward help and donations where they're needed.
Breezy Point Cooperative Disaster Relief Fund
c/o Lee & Kane Attorneys
2175 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11234
Alternatively, you can donate to the Breezy Point Volunteer Firehouse directly. Their firehouse and equipment, trucks etc . were badly damaged in the flood and fire. They are in immediate need of chainsaws and propane space heaters for the firehouse.
1 Firemans Plaza
Breezy Point, NY 11697
Also, Erin has asked that if you are interested in making any donations of goods, that you consider this list. "What is inching to top of 'need' list is storage supplies. Bins, sealed plastic storage bags—not Ziplocs but the kind you would use to store clothes in the attic. These are needed both for people salvaging goods from their home and to organize donations. All the food that was brought down by various organizations yesterday are sitting unattended this morning. The conditions are bad, cold and everything is dirty, contaminated by flood water. If would be great to seal stuff up and organize. The firehouse has piles of clothes brought in, but I can't keep up with it—if they were sorted better it would streamline activity here.
Items for donation can be dropped off on the front porch of Adams' house:
4 Brandon Circle