RAHWAY– When help is needed, Rahway residents are ready to jump in and lend a hand. So when the call went out through Facebook for donations to help victims of Hurricane Sandy, Rahway citizens rallied to provide hundreds of gently-used items of clothing, jackets, winter coats, work appropriate outfits, shoes and accessories, baby needs (such as bottles, bibs, diapers, clothing, and formula), canned goods and pantry items, blankets, comforters, household, and personal items, for Monmouth County shelters.
‘Operation Reach the Beach – Central Jersey’ is a grassroots, volunteer-driven effort to collect and deliver donations of clothing, toiletries, dry goods, and emergency supplies for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The effort was organized by a small group of friends and families, but quickly stretched across three counties (Warren, Union and Middlesex) with drop-off locations popping up in Phillipsburg, Rahway, Clark, and Woodbridge.
Rahway resident Rachael Faillace volunteered to collect, sort, and deliver donated items for the first collection event, which took place on Nov. 3. “We were very fortunate that our home didn’t sustain any damage. There are so many people who were simply devastated by the storm,” said Faillace. “It’s a time for action.”
Rahway City Council President Samson Steinman helped to quickly spread the word to other local residents, neighbors, and friends. Steinman also collected bags of donated clothes and brought them to the Rahway drop-off location. “People are looking for ways to help others who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” Steinman said. “This was an amazing effort.”
Donations from the collection event on Nov. 3 were delivered to the Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management’s disaster relief shelter in Lincroft and to families in Belmar. In total, 17 truckloads of donated items were collected within 24 hours and brought from drop-off sites in Woodbridge, Rahway, and Clark.
Operation Reach the Beach – Central Jersey is using Facebook almost exclusively as a vehicle for communicating with potential volunteers and donors. Anyone who is interested in donating goods or making a monetary donation via Paypal can ‘like’ Operation Reach the Beach – Central Jersey Facebook community page for more information on current drop-off locations and the donations list. Monetary donations are being used to purchase additional supplies and food for families in need.
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