Donations for Sandy Victims Fill Up Former Toy Store
Hurricane donation center operated by West Caldwell Police Department open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Sunday.
Story updated 10 a.m. Wednesday.
The donations just keep coming in.
More than 54 pallets of items have been collected for victims of Hurricane Sandy by the West Caldwell Police Department since their donation center opened Saturday.
The response is greater than co-organizers WCPD officers Det. Paul Mazzeo and Sgt. Shaun O’Dowd ever imagined.
“Everybody’s chipping in,” O’Dowd said Tuesday. “It’s been incredible.”
Surrounded by rows and rows of packed boxes piled four-high, O’Dowd spoke about the generosity displayed by the community.
Howard Gordon of Goodrich Management Corp. opened the doors of the empty retail space, formerly K.B. Toy Works, at 911 Bloomfield Avenue for the effort.
West Caldwell-based VitaQuest donated hundreds of cardboard boxes and other packing materials and will lend the police a tractor-trailer truck to transport the items to Jersey Shore towns impacted by the Oct. 29 storm.
Land Pros Landscaping dropped off about 8,000 bottles of water, and thousands of pounds of dog food were said to be on the way from an unknown donor.
Meanwhile, West Caldwell Police officers have been giving their time, volunteering shifts to man the site.
The Montclair Police Department have set up a satellite drop-off point at 486 Bloomfield Ave., the lobby of the Clairidge Cinema. A second truckload of boxes were delivered from Montclair to West Caldwell Tuesday afternoon by O’Dowd’s twin brother, David, a sergeant with the MPD.
And no donation is too small. O’Dowd said he has been touched by the children who have come in to drop off their stuffed animals.
Laura McCarthy of West Caldwell was one of many area residents to pull up Tuesday afternoon with a trunk-full of donations. McCarthy said she purchased mostly “essentials,” such as socks and underwear.
“It feels great to be able to give back and help these people out who have nothing,” she said.
Anyone collecting for Sandy is welcome to bring items to the West Caldwell Police site, where they will be sorted and packed for delivery. The most needed items are personal hygiene products, dry and canned foods, pet food and supplies, new clothes, household cleaning supplies, new toys, baby formula and diapers, new tools and charcoal. Used clothes will not be accepted.
The collection site at 911 Bloomfield Avenue in West Caldwell will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. everyday through Sunday.