Adams Group Collecting Donations for Superstorm Sandy VictimsUpdate: Those wishing to donate to the group can drop off donations at iBerkshires.com's office at 102 Main St., North Adams, between 9 and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We will deliver whatever is collected to the group. The Greylock Community Club is also accepting donations.
Items needed include nonperishable food (cans should have pop tops), pet food, diapers, industrial strength garbage bags, rubber work gloves, cleaning supplies including bleach, protective masks and mold cleaner. Heavy duty rubber boots in good condition may also be accepted.
We will not accept clothing or linens. The hurricane relief group has been in contact with emergency services in New Jersey on what is needed in the storm-stricken area.
Volunteers spent the morning separating and boxing up food and supplies for Superstorm Sandy victims in New Jersey.
"I can handle 46,000 pounds," said Piaggi on Saturday afternoon. "We probably have about two tons here."
That two tons is a great start, he said. "I'm shocked, actually, at the amount."
The Forest Wardens are donating the use of the garage for the collection, which continues Sunday, Nov. 11, from 9 to noon, and next Saturday and Sunday, also 9 to noon. Piaggi is donating the use of his truck to haul the tractor-load to New Jersey.
Accepted items include nonperishable food — especially pre-made meals such as soups, beef stew, canned pasta — along with boxed items. Also water, powdered milk, cereal, bottled juices, pet food, cleaning supplies and detergent, personal care items, trash bags, hand warmers, diapers, toilet tissue, disposal plates, cups and silverware, and snacks. If buying cans, choose pull-tops.
No more blankets, towels or clothes will be accepted. A lot were donated on Saturday and the donation site says food is more important at this point. Cash contributions can be made through Greylock Federal Credit Union to the Northern Berkshire Hurricane Relief account.
Piaggi, who operates his own truck, kicked off the collection with Steven Melito after seeing some of the devastation during his trips down Interstate 95 into New Jersay after the superstorm slammed into the coast near Atlantic City on Oct. 29.
Pet food and toothpaste were among the many supplies donated. Organizers do not need anymore clothing or blankets; nonperishable foods is needed.
Not far from the Costco distribution center that's his regular destination, people have been sleeping in their cars. While power was expected to be fully restored by Saturday, residents along the coast are still dealing with damaged and destroyed homes.
"All my friends, they lost everything," said Lois Putnam of Ashfield, who stopped by after her shift at the Big Y to see what was needed. "The beachfront where I was raised, it's gone, all gone."
Putnam said her son, who lives in Georgia, has a beachfront vacation home in New Jersey but doesn't know what shape it's in because authorities have blocked the area for safety reasons. She spoke to her daughter, who still lives in New Jersey, after being struck by some of the damage she'd seen on television. "She said, 'Mom, everywhere I look, it looks like that."
She shook her head over what may be the most recognizable image to come out the storm: the roller coaster at Seaside Heights broken and washed out to sea.
"I was on that roller coaster a million times," said Putnam.
Piaggi and Melito have been in contact with former classmate Kimberly Gorman Gavagan, who now lives in Mendham, N.J., and was out of power for a week after the storm. They have been taking their cues from her on what the area needs in supplies.
"We asked her what people needed and who we should we talk to," said Melito.
After next weekend's collection, Piaggi, Melito, Norm Haskins and a couple others will take the supplies to Neptune, N.J., for distribution in the Monmouth county area.
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