UPDATE: Ice, Water, Supplies and Shelter Available; Donations Accepted
Recreation center, Berkeley Twp. Elementary offering clothing, water; shelter available at Central Regional High School
Update, 3:30 p.m. Sunday: Here's a list of items currently needed at all locations:
- Cleaning supplies
- Toiletries, especially contact lens solution, feminine hygiene products, shaving cream
- Baby products -- diapers, wipes, baby food, baby formula
- Advil, Motrin, Tylenol
- Garbage bags
- Paper products -- paper plates, napkins, toilet paper, paper towels
- Ziploc bags
Donations are being accepted at Central Regional, at Berkeley Twp. Elementary School and at the recreation center.
Central Regional High School's main gymnasium has cots for those needing shelter overnight. The shelter is pet-friendly.
The Silver Ridge Park West clubhouse is open as a warming center, and Berkeley Township Elementary School and H&M Potter will be open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for those needing warmth and a place to charge electronics. Coffee will be available.
Previously: As a steady stream of cars pulled into the parking lot at the Berkeley Recreation Center, picking up cases of water and ice, a tractor-trailer rolled to a stop on the side of Route 9.
Volunteers flew into a frenzy of activity, one clearing cones so the truck could pull into the lot, others helping to unload the last pallet of ice from an earlier delivery, and still others loading cars to send them on their way.
As Javier Barrera maneuvered the big rig into the lot, the logo on his truck became visible: RSA Express, Dearborn, Mich.
"I picked up the ice in Ottawa Lake, Mich., and drove all the way to Livingston," said Barrera, who hails from Detroit. The trip, from just west of Toledo, took about 14 hours.
Dale York from London, Ky., drove about 14 hours as well, after picking up ice from Home City Ice in West Virginia, just one of the places JCP&L ordered 100 loads of ice from for communities hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.
"We left West Virginia about 8 p.m. on Halloween," York said, carrying 44,000 pounds of ice bound for New Jersey. He reached Livingston on Friday and had been waiting there for instructions before he was sent to Bayville.
Ice and water aren't the only items that Berkeley residents can pick up, however; donations of clothing, bedding and food have been flowing in as well to help those who've suffered severe losses as a part of the storm.
Donations continue to be accepted at the recreation center and at Berkeley Township Elementary School, which was opened as a donation center on Saturday after the halls of Central Regional High School began to overflow with donations.
Central Regional opened as a shelter with sleeping accommodations on Friday afternoon. On Saturday morning at the Berkeley Township Council's emergency meeting it was announced that it is a pet-friendly shelter.
Donations have been flowing in not just from local sources, however. At the recreation center, volunteers recounted how one man drove up with his pickup truck loaded with clothing and items, donations he had gathered from those around him in Delaware.
"He drove all the way up here from Delaware in his personal truck," said Sherri Kriss Dillane, who was helping to direct traffic at the rec center. "That's amazing."
Others came to donate time. Craig Flannery of Warren and several of his Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity brothers had fanned out across the area, helping at shelters and other aid centers, loading ice and water into vehicles and helping others unload donations from their vehicles.
"Thank you for coming to help," Berkeley Council President James J. Byrnes said to Flannery. "We are grateful."
Saturday afternoon there was a steady flow of people coming in to look through the donated clothing, picking out coats and items for babies as well as a few items for themselves. Some came in to help others unable to travel on their own, including one woman who drove from The Americana hotel in Toms River to help about 20 adults and 8-10 children in need.
"We've gotten a lot of help with clothes," she said, "but we've been having trouble with food."
Residents who are still in need will be able to pick up water and ice at the recreation center on Sunday, beginning at 9 a.m. Berkeley Township Elementary School also will be open on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for those in need to pick up clothing, water and supplies, Berkeley Superintendent Dr. James Roselli said.
"If you are not able to travel to BTES, please send someone on your behalf to pick up supplies," Roselli said. "No more donations are needed at this time but if you would like to volunteer to assist, please go to the school tomorrow during those hours to help the staff members who will be there."
Patti Smith said volunteers have been delivering ice and water to areas where people haven't yet heard of its availability, including to residents in Ocean Gate.
"It's so sad, seeing what happened there," Smith said. "They have been cleaning out their homes and didn't know this was available. They were so grateful."
Berkeley Township Elementary School will also be open during the week for those in need to pick up clothing and supplies, Roselli said. Coffee and the opportunity to warm up will be available there and at H&M Potter as well, he said.