After the flooding and the fires, the anxiety and the fear, municipalities rocked by Hurricane Sandy are starting to rebuild. But it’s no easy task and some towns are still without power and heat.
Some Central New Yorkers say they wanted to make a difference. Carl’s Furniture City in partnership with the Utica Boilermaker have created a supply drive for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Eyewitness News reporter Rachel Polansky joins us live with Carl Vogul, owner of Carl’s Furniture City and Tim Reed, executive director of the Utica Boilermaker at the supply drive.
Another Rome family has done the same. After Joseph Mellace’s sister’s home in Long Island was devastated by Sandy, he and his family started their own clothing and supply drive. It’s become a community-wide event… and it all started with a Facebook post.
“I had a bunch of people respond saying when’s it going, can I help? But it was too late, it was Friday night. The truck was gonna leave Saturday morning,” says Amy Mellace, organizer of Hurricane Sandy Relief Drive in Rome.
After family members in Long Island were devastated by the hurricane, the Mellace’s immediately gathered supplies to send.
“We originally set down a truck for her and her family alone on Saturday morning which we quickly got together,” says Amy.
But once there…
“I don’t think anyone truly understood the extent of the damage and suffering that was going on there,” says Joseph Mellace, organizer of Hurricane Sandy Relief Drive in Rome.
“Described it as a war zone, something that they’ve never seen before,” says Amy.
They wanted to do more and with the feedback Amy had received on Facebook, the Mellace’s had an idea.
“We decided we really need to step up the effort here, bring the community together,” says Amy.
They would make a second trip, but this time they have a 48-foot tractor trailer and they’ve been collecting supplies all week.
“We get stuff from people, some people that we don’t know and some people that we do know,” says Andrew Mellace, Amy and Joseph’s 5-year-old son.
“Makes me feel happy because I’m helping other people,” says Sophia Mellace, Amy and Joseph’s 6-year-old daughter.
“We’re gonna be able to help a whole neighborhood and hopefully even more,” says Joseph.
Amy and Joseph say they’ve received support from people in Rome, Utica, Herkimer and Ilion, and now it’s time to make the trip.
“When we get there, its gonna be an exciting moment to see the looks on their faces,” says Joseph.
Pretty incredible story and the Mellace’s will be heading to Lindenhurst, Long Island tomorrow to deliver the supplies.
If these people have inspired you to donate, there’s still time. You can drop off items at Carl’s Furniture City in Utica until 3pm tomorrow.