TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Melissa Weaver said she decided to collect items at the Tarrytown YMCA for Hurricane Sandy relief after hearing about how the storm damaged one of her staff member's family home in Breezy Point, N.Y.
The house had been shifted about three feet off its foundation and suffered severe water damage. About 100 homes a few blocks away were ravaged by fires after Hurricane Sandy hit, and firefighters couldn't get to them because of flooding. Many residents don't have food or water.
“Once I heard this, I decided we had to do something to help, both the people as well as the animals that are in need,” she said.
The Tarrytown YMCA and several other residents and local organizations have been collecting items throughout the week to donate to residents hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy. Residents have taken to Facebook to coordinate efforts and solicit donations.
Weaver said the YMCA has already received too many items to count and expects several more before their planned weekend drop-off trip. The YMCA will accept non-perishable foods, water, first aid supplies, diapers, batteries, cleaning supplies, pet supplies, pet food and more.
The Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital is another local business collecting supplies.
“The caravan of trucks will be leaving that firehouse on Sunday morning at 7 a.m. bound for Breezy Point and Far Rockaway,” Veterinarian Brian Green said on Facebook. “They will be grilling for the folks there as well as providing all the clothing, food and dry goods donated.”
Main Street Sweets in Tarrytown sent relief items to Staten Island and Long Island last weekend, calling for donations on Facebook. Girl Scout Troop 1497 began its own donation drive this week as well, collecting items for hurricane victims in Toms River, N.J. The Girl Scouts' drive is taking place through 1 p.m. Saturday at the Washington Engine Firehouse on Route 119 in Tarrytown.
The JCC on the Hudson will collect items until 3 p.m. Saturday and is calling for items such as non-perishable foods and toiletries on its website. Volunteers are needed to help sort items on Saturday.
The Christ Episcopal Church is collecting donations through Friday for Hurricane Sandy relief for a shelter at Lehman's College and residents in the Rockaways and Manhattan. The church also notes there's an ongoing need for food donations at their Community Food Pantry.
“For now, all food collected will go to our Community Food Pantry,” a note from the church said. “After we are able to assess the local food needs, we will be able to collect food for other affected areas.”
Weaver's 10-year-old son, Scotty. plans to help deliver items to Breezy Point, Weaver said.
“He is so proud to be helping the YMCA with this effort and is looking forward to bringing supplies to Breezy Point,” she said. “It is a learning opportunity for him as well. He is learning how important it is to give back to those in need and it does not matter if you know the person or not.”