Here in Howard County, Superstorm Sandy knocked out power, downed trees, caused minor flooding, but luckily, didn't cause the widespread coastal devastation residents of New York and New Jersey face.
This weekend three local organizations are teaming up to collect donations for our neighbors to the North.
Food on the 15th, Columbia Association and the Young Women's Giving Circle of Howard County wil be collecting a wide range of items from noon to 3 p.m. at Clarksville Middle School, 6535 Trotter Road, Clarksville, on Saturday.
The donations will then be loaded into a truck by CA's Open Space Division staff and Titan Maintenance and brought to the Civil Air Patrol, Maryland Wing in Glen Burnie—who will bring it to those in need.
This is the third donation drive for Sandy victims organized by Food on the 15th, according to the organization's coordinator Julie Rosenthal.
"The first two were fabulous," said Rosenthal, "we have very generous people in Howard County."
The donation drive was organized by Rosenthal who got into touch with Sean Harbaugh, director of CA's open space division for help.
Harbaugh volunteered the division's dump truck and trailer to bring supplies to the Civil Air Patrol.
"This is a huge community effort," said Rosenthal. "There are churches, synagogues, county council members, the public school system and County Executive Ken Ulman's office who is helping."
Rosenthal said in addition to donations, they're looking for volunteers to help unload the trucks at the Civil Air Patrol in Glen Burnie.
For both Rosenthal and Harbaugh, it was important to help out in any way they could.
"We were only a few degrees from that hurricane coming in and we'd be in the same situation as our friends up North," said Harbaugh. "It's the right thing to do."
"These people have lost everything," said Rosenthal. "Their homes have been flooded, their things destroyed. We're fortunate where we are, we haven't been hit badly, so I just feel this strong desire to help these people."
According to a CA spokesperson, they will be collecting the following items: bottled water, easy-to-open non-perishable food (please make sure any cans have pop-top lids), plastic dining utensils, paper plates, trash bags, warm clothing of all sizes (including coats, hats, scarves, gloves and shoes), blankets, sleeping bags, diapers, baby food, toothpaste, toothbrushes, cat and dog food, buckets, brooms, work gloves, face masks, shovels, trash bins, 5-gallon totes, tool belts, tape measures, large heavy-duty contractor trash bags, work boots, new heavy work socks and safety goggles."
If you're interested in volunteering you can contact Rosenthal at firstname.lastname@example.org.