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Lots of Donations, Lots of Victims, But How To Bring The Two Together?

Organizers need a way to bring storm victims into the regional distribution center at Saint Benedict in Holmdel.

Update Nov. 4: Anyone with gas and time to ferry donations is asked to contact Mary at 732-915-9228.

On Saturday in the dark gymnasium at Saint Benedict School in Holmdel where power has still not been restored, hundreds of local volunteers efficiently sorted and folded a river of donated clothes and toiletries into categories, and stacked them on tables ringing the room.  

Coordinator Mary Mykityshyn of Holmdel said the need is so great for storm-ravaged victims of Keyport, Union Beach, and Keansburg. But the Bayshore residents don't have a way to get to the regional distribution center at Hillcrest and Bethany Road in Holmdel. 

"A major problem for us is that the need is out there, but they can't get here," she said. A system had not been worked out. "We have a small list of volunteers willing to drive donations to Union Beach, but we're all in the same boat -- we are low on gas." 

Since Saint Ben's was designated a regional distribution center on Thursday, the donations and volunteers have been streaming in to help. The parking lot is half full, and a steady stream of vehicles pull up to the curb. Grade school kids with shopping carts meet the motorists at the car, offload the donations and wheel them into the gym, where teenagers and adult volunteers are working long shifts by the light of the windows.

"People have been so generous," said Mykityshyn. "It's going amazingly well," she said. 

She took a cellphone call, hung up and headed out the door. "A busload of victims is coming in, from Keansburg," she said, happily. "Our first one." 

Susan Del Russo November 04, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Maybe the police can drive through the affected areas Keyport Keansburg union beach with a megaphone and announce where the facilities are. Have a number they can call if a ride is needed. I'm sure you will get folks to pick up. It's not that far.
Susan Del Russo November 04, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Another idea is via the mail. Produce a simple mass flier and have the post office deliver to every mail box the information of all the facilities st Benedict's union ave fire dept and Bolger middle school in Keansburg with a number if a ride is needed.
Erika November 04, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Where in Union Beach would the donations have to be driven....just posted on Facebook and I already have volunteers that will be going to St Benedict's to deliver the donations....
Jennifer November 04, 2012 at 01:56 PM
I drove through Port Monmouth, a really badly affected area, and I just don't know. The people are overwhelmed with trying to throw things away, I don't know where they are living or how they can take much with them. They are trying to salvage what they can from their homes - anyone with a one-story home has precious little to save.
Trisha November 04, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Is there still a need for transport of these donations?
Christina Johnson (Editor) November 04, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Patch update Sunday, Nov. 4: Anyone with gas and time to ferry donations is asked to contact Mary at 732-915-9228. A convoy is being organized!
Margaret DeBeVoise November 04, 2012 at 04:19 PM
@ Trisha - Yes we need volunteers to drive supplies to those in need! As of this morning, Father Dan is asking for new socks, new underwear, black trash bags, and toiletries items- brush, comb, shaving cream, razors, toilet paper etc.
Carol Cormany November 04, 2012 at 08:08 PM
If our church collects items, where would we need to take it to have it delivered?
michelle November 05, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Yesterday my brother arrived with a trailer full of donations that he collected in North Carolina. We went to the Beer's St. school and unloaded all but blankets. We were asked to deliver the blankets to St. Benedict's. When we got there, we were asked to load our trailer with what blankets, towels, sheets they had collected and drive it to Keansburg High School. When we got there we unloaded our trailer and three other trucks. I say all this with the thought, can we ask a local truck rental company to volunteer to donate the trucks for a short period of time? I would be more than willing to make calls to see if someone would donate trucks. Please contact me at 732-801-5349 if you would like me to do this. I would also be willing to get a crew together to drive and deliver the items to whatever towns are in need.

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