SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

November 9, 2012

Locals collect supplies for storm victims in NY and NJ

BY ETHAN FORMAN STAFF WRITER
The Salem News

---- — DANVERS — North Shore residents have ramped up efforts to send relief supplies to areas in New York and New Jersey that were pummeled by Hurricane Sandy last week and hit again by this week’s nor’easter.

Several North Shore groups are collecting supplies and donations, and some are planning to drive them down over the weekend.

Cranney Home Services in Danvers is collecting items and sending a truck to the New York area tomorrow.

“They can bring them right here to the storage facility at 24 Water St. in Danvers,” said Gayla Bartlett, manager of Cranney Self Storage. The company is collecting trash bags, bleach, gloves, paper towels, toilet paper, bottled water, diapers, diaper wipes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, batteries, candles, flashlights, nonperishable food and snacks.

The cutoff for this collection is 5 p.m. today, Bartlett said.

One of those who knows what it is like to lose a house in a hurricane is Tobybeth Barber of Beverly. She is running her own collection in Beverly tomorrow.

Barber lost her house to Hurricane Charley when it hit Port Charlotte in southwestern Florida in 2004. Her family, including her two daughters, then ages 14 and 9, struggled without power and camped in the only room in the house that did not lose its roof. Her youngest had to stay for weeks with relatives in Pennsylvania.

“I cried,” Barber said, when she saw images on TV of the devastation along the Jersey Shore.

Barber will hold a “Fill a Truck” collection tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the McPherson Youth Center, 4 McPherson Drive, Beverly. Her plan is to drive the donations to the coastal community of Tom’s River, N.J.

“I have some friends there,” Barber said.

Danvers resident Kristen Davis continues to fill her Locust Street garage with donations. She’s the mother of former Danvers High hockey standout Kyle McCullough, who now lives with his wife in Rockaway, N.Y., a community especially hard-hit by the hurricane.

Friends and strangers have already sent down one truckload of supplies for residents in Rockaway, and Davis is continuing to collect items. Cranney Home Services has offered to take any further supplies she collects to the New York area.

“As long as I can get transportation, I’m going to keep doing it,” Davis said.

Another small relief effort leaving for the New York/New Jersey area tomorrow is called the Relief Road Trip, which is being organized by Molly Ferris of Danvers, Emma Sauvageau of Peabody and others. Sauvageau, a counselor, and Ferris, a program manager, work together at the Shore Education Collaborative in Peabody. Through donations from preschools and doctor’s offices, the women have enough donations to fill a minivan, and they are no longer accepting items. The women plan to blog about their trip on Facebook. You can find their page by searching under the title “The Relief Road Trip.”

Another Sandy relief effort is scheduled for Nov. 24 by classmates and friends of Sue O’Grady, a member of the Danvers High Class of 1989, whose family was displaced from their home in Bernardsville, N.J. The event will be at the Roadhouse Pub, 55 Pulaski St., Peabody, from 7 p.m. to closing. For more information, contact Jennifer (L’Italien) Carroca at 978-869-1448 or carroca4@gmail.com.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.