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.