The Patterson and Brewster Rotary Clubs are collecting small appliance donations to help those families living along the coast recover from Hurricane Sandy.
“Since the day Hurricane Sandy washed through the coastal neighborhoods of the northeast, many residents have been surviving by camping in the hollow shells that were once their homes,” said Patterson Rotarian Bill Flash said. “The storm surge filled the main floor of many houses and washed away all of the conveniences we often take for granted. The telephones, televisions, toasters, microwaves, and coffee makers that weren’t swept away were rendered useless after being submerged.”
Volunteers from the local Rotary Clubs in Patterson and Brewster have joined together in an effort to help replace some of those items.
Rotarians will be accepting new and gently-used small appliances until January 25. Drop-off locations are at Patterson Auto Body North on Route 22 opposite the Putnam Diner, and Patterson Auto Body South at the Shell station on Route 22 in Brewster.
“People want to know what they can do to help the Sandy victims right now,” Flash said. “Just a small convenience like coffee or toast in the morning could make a big difference. I have an extra crock-pot I’ve never used. Someone without a stove might really need that.”
Flash and some of his fellow Rotarians saw the storm damage first-hand. They prepared and delivered hot meals to coastal residents of South Queens a few times during the weeks immediately after the storm.
“Although some people had power restored, nobody could cook because nobody had working appliances.” said Michael Ingber of Patterson Rotary, after his second trip to feed the people of West Hamilton Beach, Queens.
“The economic burden of this storm has been devastating to many. In this economy it’s hard enough for some people to just get by. Now they need to replace almost everything they had owned.” said Flash. “My contact in the Rockaways said small appliances would be very useful now.”
Although most of the damaged homes are not ready for large appliances, the portable appliances really help.
“We can only accept counter-top appliances at this time; nothing over 80 pounds,” according to Bill Evans of Brewster Rotary and Patterson Auto Body of Southeast. “We’re looking for things like crock-pots, electric skillets, microwaves, space-heaters, coffee pots, toasters, and toaster-ovens. Things someone can carry home and start using right away.”
There are 1.2 million Rotarians make up 34,000 Rotary clubs throughout the world. Their motto is “Service Above Self”. For more information call Bill Flash at (845) 278-1634, or email PattersonRotary@aol.com.