Touched by the sight of her hometown on the New Jersey coast, Sunshine Falcone has been busy coordinating efforts to get needed supplies to residents ravaged by Hurricane Sandy the week of Oct. 28.
Falcone is a Human Services major at Lackawanna College Lake Region Center. Students have been gathering items from clothing to pet food, and reaching out to the community at large to lend a hand.
This is one of numerous efforts that have been taken or are underway in the Wayne/Pike region, where Sandy brushed by with a wave of inconvenience not coming close to the devastation 100 or so miles to the southeast.
Trucks have been heading down from the Poconos to help alleviate the suffering with loads supplies. Others have been making financial donations though the American Red Cross or other relief agency.
On Nov. 13, Falcone said they had their fourth load ready to be shipped. The Monmouth County native has been taking items door to door in the devastated area. Other supplies have been delivered to appropriate locations for distribution. Woodloch Pines has offered to take the supplies down with their own deliveries.
She said she went back to the area where she used to live. "Homes are not there," she said. Fellow student Nicole McVeigh, who also visited the area, said it was like a "war zone."
They are hoping to arrange a weekend trip for Lackawanna College students to help with the cleanup.
These efforts are being run by the Human Service Assistance Committee at the school, which is chaired by Falcone. The committee also recently ran a coat drive for local families in cooperation with the Hawley Rotary Club and the Volunteers in Paupack, led by Marie Mitchele of Wallenpaupack Area High School.
Heather Schairest, Jessica Wendrick, Nicky McVeigh and Kaila Fotusky also serve on the committee.
Relief supplies welcome
The public is encouraged to bring relief supplies to the reception area of the Lake Region Center, which is on the third floor of the Hawley Silk Mill.
The college is open Monday- Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to about 7 -7:30 p.m. and on Friday, from 8 a.m. to about 3:45 p.m. The school is closed Saturday and Sunday.
Falcone stated that they are no longer taking clothing (outer wear). Items that are being accepted include toiletries, new packages of socks or underwear, student backpacks, pet food, cleaning supplies, hygiene items, shampoo and paper products such as plates and bowls.
Editor's note: Anyone that is planning a Hurricane Sandy collection or benefit, please contact the editor at The News Eagle, (570)226-4547 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.