Shortly after the winds and floods of Hurricane Sandy died down and the full gloomy picture of the devastation became known, local firehouses and churches and even a liquor store sprang up to collect donated goods for the storm victims.
But as word spread and the mountains of clothes grew, organizers began brainstorming a better, longer term solution. An offer was made to lend the empty Childrens Wear and Foodtown stores for 30-days, and the army of people volunteers moved in. Its been dubbed "The Beacon of Hope" by the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce members whose members are behind it.
The auto dealers Keyport Nissan and Hazlet Buhler have joined the Raine organization as major sponsors. A dozen restaurants, mostly from Hazlet and Keyport, have been dropping off food regularly.
The center, at 3106 Route 35 South at Hazet Avenue, operates from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and welcomes all volunteers. Donations from the broader community stream in through the doors, and homemade food is dropped off. See images of the activity in the photos.
For information on how to help, contact Florence Smith at 732-637-2037 or at Flo@valuedconnections.biz.
Connect to the NMCC Beacon of Hope to learn what the volunteers need now.
The video was produced by William DeVizia, with help from Jack DeVizia.