Hurricane Sandy victims are getting help from Warren County.
Alicia Gatto organized a donation drive over the weekend. She had just moved to Warren and had boxes of children's clothing she felt she should send.
Gatto's sister-in-law in Hoboken, N.J., witnessed the storm firsthand. Fortunately, she only lost power and was able to provide a list of things people needed.
Photo submitted for publication
Help on the way
Pictured at the donation drive at Active Lives Chiropractic Center on Crescent Park are, left to right: Karen Thomas, Alicia Gatto, Ann Vizza, Dian DiPenti, Margaret Lodowski, Andrea Kiehl and Halina Carbon. Missing from the photo are Jim Carbon, Jim Carbon, Jr., Rachel Lynds, Dr. Rob Gatto, Jaclyn Volchoff, Scott Lynds and Mike DiPenti.
With four children, Gatto said her family goes through quite a bit of clothes and they outgrow them quickly. Besides their own contributions, she and her husband tried to see if they could get a group together of friends and family to help.
Postings on Facebook and church announcements helped notify people. With its Crescent Park location, Gatto said her husband's office was a good drop-off point.
When Gatto got the idea to help, it was 11 a.m. on Saturday. By 11 a.m. Sunday, the group had begun the collection which yielded over 100 boxes.
Initially, the plan was to ship them. However, Gatto said there were too many boxes to label so the group will send four truckloads and a trailer full of the items through a freight company in Jamestown, N.Y.
All boxes will arrive at the borough hall in Union Beach, N.J. In Hoboken, Gatto said, there is flooding and her sister-in-law has no power at work or home so she has turned to helping others.
"It's just a nightmare," Gatto said. "People are in need of food and water."
In addition, Gatto said items they raised were work gloves, boots, formula for babies and non-perishable items. Everyone was bundled up and braving the cold as they worked to collect the items.
Tim Horton's donated coffee and doughnuts, Gatto said. Also, Little Caesars donated crazy bread.
Between sorting and packing boxes, many volunteers gave three or four hours of their time on short notice. Such community support proved impressive, Gatto said.
In one instance, Gatto said three young children came to make donations with their grandmother. About an hour and a half later, they returned with each one bringing a baby doll and stuffed animal to donate.
"We're six to eight hours away from the main disaster, but everyone pulled together to help," Gatto said.