NEWBURYPORT — Early this morning, a truck filled with donations of everything from batteries to work gloves and masks to cleaning supplies and canned goods rolled out of Newburyport bound for New York and New Jersey.
The collection drive, which took place yesterday in a parking lot at Port Plaza on Storey Avenue, was organized by local residents Kerri Richardson and Missy Silk, and supported by many in the community.
When choosing what to donate, Richardson and Silk told people to remember the victims of Hurricane Sandy have nothing and encouraged them to contribute items that were ready to eat, wear and use. A steady stream of donors helped fill the truck during a four-hour period yesterday afternoon and into the evening.
Other drives are continuing throughout the region. Here’s a few other ways to contribute:
Native New Yorker Valerie Natoli Paquette of Newburyport said she has spent the past week in touch with family and friends in New York City, Queens, on Long Island and Staten Island and in New Jersey hearing about the devastation in their communities. Some of her relatives were still without power and running water the middle of this week, she said.
Paquette reported while there are extraordinary efforts taking place to help people obtain food, water and shelter and to try to collect whatever belongings that still remain in their homes or around the areas where their homes once stood, organized volunteer efforts have yet to reach some communities.
Her family is collecting donations to deliver to New York on Sunday. While an exact delivery location is yet to be determined, the donations will likely go to Long Beach, Long Island, which is distributing to other beachfront communities as well.
Items can be dropped off at the New Hampshire Academy of Performing Arts at 875 Lafayette Road (Route 1) in Seabrook as well as at residences in Newburyport, Merrimac and Groveland. Donations should be received by 5 p.m. tomorrow. For addresses of the collection sites, a list of items being sought or more information, email Paquette at email@example.com.
FUEL Training Studio at 75 Merrimac St. in downtown Newburyport will be collecting donations of food and other necessities tonight prior to the start of two free classes, a signature candelight barre class followed by a signature SweatShop BOOTCAMP, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The classes, taught by Jennifer Pilz and Mary Jo Anderson, will go together and last 45 minutes each.
All items collected will be delivered to hard-hit Rockaway Beach in New York on Tuesday via cargo van. Individuals do not have to attend the classes to contribute to the relief effort. Donors should keep in mind that everything will need to be packed up in a trailer and then unpacked and distributed. Items should be packed as tightly as possible and labeled. For example, warm clothing or blankets should be rolled, tied up and labeled with Duct tape.
Items requested are fresh fruit that can be transported and keeps like apples and oranges; canned soups, vegetables and fruit, kids juices and snacks, power bars and granola bars, any ready-to-eat foods, disposable hygiene products, baby wipes, diapers, paper towels, feminine products, batteries, pet supplies, thick black trash bags and blankets,
Tonight’s event will end with a raffle for a Lululemon prize and a plank challenge. Space in the classes is limited to 40 people. Admission is free, but registration is requested by visiting www.fueltrainingstudio.com and going to the Hurricane Sandy tab. Call 978-463-3226 for more.
Lively Kids at 15 State St. in downtown Newburyport is donating 10 percent of all sales today to Fuel Training’s Hurricane Sandy Benefit. In addition, customers will receive 10 percent off their entire purchase. Call 978-465-7650 for more.