The Wakefield Rotary Club is supporting a SECOND collection of items to be delivered to the New York and New Jersey area to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Wakefield Rotarian Jennifer Black will be taking a second trip with her local church group to New York to deliver donations to local social workers.
Black shared her story, "At the beginning of November, as we watched the tragedy unfolding in Staten Island, my husband and I thought maybe we could use our 12 passenger van and an open trailer to collect and deliver relief supplies. We didn't want to go down without having a local contact to direct us to the most needy places. Fortunately, we were able to connect with fellow First Parish church member, Linell Nester, who has a friend, Irene on the island. Irene is a social worker and lives very close to the devastated areas and has contacts with the local organizations collecting relief supplies. Over the course of a couple of weeks we coordinated with First Parish Congregational Church and the Wakefield Rotary to collect, organize, sort and pack winter clothing, toiletries, cleaning items, bedding and baby items."
She continued, "On November 17th, we met up with Irene on Staten Island and went around to several locations dropping off items we had collected. We met a woman who floated for 3 hours on a board and was finally rescued by a neighbor who pulled her up onto a garage roof with sheets tied together. She, like many in her area, lived in a one story bungalow. The storm surge flooded the area with ten to twelve feet of water. Homes were devastated and people have been tearing out the destroyed furniture, carpeting and drywall and piling it out on the streets. All of the studs, if they are salvageable, have to be treated for mold before repairing and rebuilding can occur. The coming winter and holiday season adds to their difficulties with keeping warm and providing gifts for the kids."
Responding to the continuing need for relief, Black is now planning a second trip. "The need was so great, and the members, friends and family of First Parish and the Wakefield Rotary Club have been so generous, we decided that we would make another trip on December 15th," noted Black. "This time we have been told by the relief organizations to focus on cleaning supplies and tools."
Suggested donations include: shovels, sponges, dust masks, gloves (work gloves, non-latex gloves), trash bags, mops, brooms, reusable cleaning towels, detergent, and disinfecting wipes. Also, they continue to need toiletries, and new toys for kids for the holidays. Finally, they are looking for small appliances and furniture (gently used, clean and not broken - no beds or mattresses).
Please drop off all items in the basement of First Parish Congregational Church at 1 Church Street. Please bring items to donate by Friday, December 14th at 12:00. If you plan on donating furniture, please call Jen Black first at 781-832-2525, so we can check for available space. Thank you for your support!