, Newburyport, MA

November 9, 2012

Helping out the powerless

Region organizing drives for Sandy victims

By Angeljean Chiaramida STAFF WRITER
Newburyport Daily News

---- — SALISBURY — Residents throughout the region are pitching in to aid the citizens of New York and New Jersey still suffering from the ravages of Hurricane Sandy.

Holly Janvrin of Salisbury said the reports from her husband, Marc — a lineman with a Wisconsin utility construction company who has been working in New York to restore power to those still in the dark after more than a week — are heartbreaking.

“He called and said, ‘Holly, it’s like a war zone here; the devastation is horrible,’” Janvrin said. Janvrin got together with residents Sue Mitchell and Colleen Wiecks and the three decided they “just had to do something.”

That something is organizing “Salisbury Support for Sandy,” a collection drive so relief can be sent out soon to help those still without power, a warm place to live or even the supplies it takes to clean up the mess they find themselves in.

Janvrin said cleaning supplies, paper products, blankets, tarps, trash bags and bottled water are among the items needed.

The collection will continue until Sunday, Nov. 18, she said, so everything can be packed up and sent off the next day.

Donations can be dropped off at three places in the region: Janvrin’s home at 47 Pike St. (Route 286) in Salisbury; the Institution for Savings at 7 Bridge Road in Salisbury and All That Cheer and Tumble at the Boston North Complex at 110 Haverhill Road in Amesbury.

Janvrin said line crews are working 16-hour days to restore power to the thousands who were unfortunate enough to be in Hurricane Sandy’s path last week, only to be hit with a foot of snow this week when the nor’easter hit.

“My husband was sent to Long Island,” Janvrin said. “And with the homeless people from the area living in hotels, there aren’t any rooms left for the linemen. They’re staying in a university gym.”

Janvrin said her husband continues to marvel at how wonderful the victims of the storm have been in spite of everything they have lost.

“These people are phenomenal. They’re in the streets and they’re asking the linemen if they need anything,” Janvrin said. “My husband said the biggest joy is when they can turn the power back on for someone.”