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Helping the Rockaways

Ridgefield Responds plans big collection Saturday

Sandy victims selected canned food at a center in the Rockaways Nov. 28. —Alley Maher photo

Ridgefield Responds is rolling out a massive effort on Saturday, Dec. 15, with the hope of bringing some holiday cheer to the Rockaways.

The drive will be from 9:30 to 4:00 at Schlumberger on Old Quarry Road and the goal is to fill a truck to take down on Tuesday, the 18th.      The needs for this particular area are great and include everything from toys to new underwear and socks, food, water and cleaning supplies.

“They asked again for baby food, canned goods, water, cat litter, and pet food,” said Di Masters, who originally spearheaded the organization in response to Hurricane Katrina. “They are also in need of unwrapped toys because they are organizing a holiday event for the children.”

Ridgefield Responds has been collecting, organizing and delivering winter wear and other items, but the donations for day-to-day basics such as water, toiletries, and food have been lacking. Ridgefield Responds takes the goods to the Rockaways and places them in organized distribution centers.

The people in these areas continue to need cleaning supplies and non-perishable food items, including canned goods, cereal, baby food, and other staples. Many stores have not yet re-opened in the area and some people still remain without basic resources. They have specifically asked this week for cat litter and canned goods, and they especially need water.

As Christmas fast approaches, St. Camillus in the Rockaways, the hub visited by Ridgefield Responds, has requested toys for children.      In response, tables will be set up to collect new, donated toys at The Toy Chest from 10 to 2 during the December 15 drive. There will also be a collection point at Ancona’s from 11 to 3.

“The need now isn’t just for clothing. It’s for food. It’s for diapers.      It’s for baby food,” said Ms. Masters. “Anything you can think of that you use every day, that’s what they need.”

Ridgefield Responds has also identified Habitat for Humanity WC, operating in Breezy Point, as another organization to help. Volunteer sign-ups are under way for a trip on Jan. 5 for work crews to contribute time and effort toward restoration of that area. Volunteers of all types, whether for Ridgefield or to travel to these areas, may contact info@ridgefieldresponds.org. Please indicate your interest.

Tax-deductible contributions continue to be desperately needed for all areas and may be made online at ridgefieldresponds.org via PayPal or by mail to Ridgefield Responds – Sandy, Treasurer, Town Hall, 400 Main Street, Ridgefield CT 06877.

For more information on what Ridgefield Responds is doing to help, visit ridgefieldresponds.org.

“This is a difficult time of year. We want to deliver a bit of joy for the holiday,” said Ms. Masters.

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