I’ve been talking a lot on the blog lately about embodying the spirit of giving not just during the upcoming holiday season, but all year round. When the monstrous “Frankenstorm” swept through the east coast recently, I was fortunate enough to not be hit too hard by the storm. With electricity intact as I tuned into the news, I was flooded with images of flooded streets, wrecked homes, and boarded up businesses.
The story that devastated me the most and prompted my call to action was that of 39-year old Glenda Moore, whose 2- and 4-year old sons were ripped from her arms during Hurricane Sandy when her car stalled and got stuck in the rising waters. As she retreated from her vehicle, the three were hit hard by a wave, and losing her grip on them, they were swept away by the powerful waters; the water’s force was so staggering that her car flipped over, too.
In spite of going to several houses nearby for help, requesting they make calls to the police, she was turned away, left to helplessly cope with the loss of her sons on her own. As a mother of a 2-year old boy, I called my husband when I got word of this tragedy, asking, “What has become of us that in a horrific storm we just shut the door on a young woman trying to rescue her babies?”
My husband challenged me to do something positive about it, and together we decided we would fill his truck with donations and drive it up to New Jersey. I posted on Facebook about our efforts, and Justin Lotano, a financial advisor with Ameriprise in Timonium who grew up in New Jersey said that he was doing the same, and suggested we join forces. Though most of his family and friends back home weathered through the storm without much damage, the wreckage from neighborhoods he knew well and places he had vacationed during summers moved him to do something.
What started out as a small gesture on behalf of a few people to take a truck and SUV with supplies to several of the New Jersey communities that were met with the most destruction after Hurricane Sandy has turned into a full operation with three commercial moving trucks worth of goods. We will be making the trip on Saturday, November 10th, thanks to donations generously provided by local residents and friends.
The donations will be sent to fire departments and churches in towns like Seabright, Tom’s River, Hazlet, Belmar, and Union Beach to help with the Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts.
We are still actively seeking donations of the following items. Please see below for information about our convenient donation centers. Special thanks to Marci Yankelov, who I’ve never before met but who saw my post on a friend’s Facebook page, for helping me coordinate two of the drop-off locations.
- Water (1 liter or smaller for easy transport)
- Canned Food
- Rice and Beans (5 and 10 pound bags)
- Powdered Milk
- Baby Formula
- Baby Bottles
- Pet Food and Supplies
- First Aid Kits
- Battery Operated Radios
- Portable Generators
- Paper Napkins, Cups and Plastic utensils
- Non-electric can openers and utility knifes
- Duct Tape
- Sleeping Bags
- Freshly Laundered Clothes
- Feminine Products and wipes
- Disinfectant and bleach
- Personal care items of soap and toilet paper
- Plastic Tarps
The following drop-off locations are happy to receive whatever you are able to supply:
- Bel Air Beltway Plaza
- 7630 Bel Air Road
- Baltimore, MD 21236
- Behind the 1st Mariner Bank
- 3311 Eastbourne Ave
- Baltimore, MD 21224
- 6280 Guardian Gateway
- Baltimore, MD 21236
- Aberdeen Proving Ground
For more information on how to get involved, or if you have any questions about the Hurricane Sandy Relief Drive, call Karin Schwartz 443.413.5826, Justin Lotano 732.616.4747 or Marci Yankelov 443.858.9113.