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Sandy Relief: Inspiring Stories of Locals Leading the Way

Yorktown residents and police officers are among those coordinating supply drives to areas affected by the storm.

Thanks to the various groups and individuals who are sharing information on their Sandy relief efforts with Patch. If you are organizing a trip or drive please post it at yorktown-somers.patch.com/announcements.

Yorktown Residents Run Successful Donation Drive to Rockaway Park

After observing the devastation in Rockaway during an impromptu trip to deliver clothing and blankets to people in need on Nov. 4, Katonah’s Hair Wharf stylist Nicole DeMaria, a Yorktown native, was inspired to organize a bigger relief effort and return with even more help for Superstorm Sandy victims on Nov. 11.

Hair Wharf owner Carol Gattucci agreed to allow her business to be used as a donation drop off spot and for DeMaria to send an email asking clients who were interested in donating to drop off items all week long.

Throughout the week Hair Wharf clients came by with dozens of the needed items on DeMaria’s list: baby wipes, diapers, shovels, garbage bags, flashlights, and much more. Others generously donated money out of their pockets to go towards purchasing additional home cleaning items.

By Saturday night the Hair Wharf had collected a pick-up truck’s worth of needed items and more than $600, which was spent on additional items for Rockaway at Target.

On Sunday, DeMaria and her family, father Frank, mother Gerry and sister Katie, all Yorktown residents, filled up Frank’s truck used for his Bronx-based glass making business, Zecca, and spent their whole day Sunday delivering the donations to people cleaning out their houses in Rockaway near Belle Harbor.

They also delivered four large trays of chili, donated by the Wooden Nickel Deli in Katonah, to people who were tired and hungry with no means of getting a hot meal.

The DeMarias first went to 130th Street and Rockaway Beach Blvd. and found neighbors gutting their basements and cleaning their homes. The night Sandy arrived the water level rose more quickly than anyone had prepared for, neighbors said. A few blocks from where the DeMaria’s handed out shovels and other cleaning supplies, 19 houses were completely burned to the ground.

They met a resident from 140th street and Rockaway Beach Blvd. who was turning her home, still powerless, into a makeshift distribution spot for neighbors. The DeMarias dropped the rest of their supplies off there, where the Red Cross was also set up with a table of supplies, where another group of volunteers set up a large pot to cook the 25 pounds of chicken they brought for the residents.  

Yorktown PBA Delivers Items to Gerritsen Beach

Yorktown Police Benevolent Association (PBA) members collected a number of items – toys, books, clothing, food, water, cleaning supplies, toiletries – last week, which they brought to Hurricane Sandy victims on Monday. About 10 police officers helped collect the items and three police officer went to deliver them. Click here to read more about their efforts.

In addition to local efforts, regional organizations are coordinating relief to storm victims. Through the Volunteer Center in Westchester, you can donate clothing, food and time to help storm victims.

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