JERSEY SHORE - Cleaning supply donations will continue this weekend to pack a trailer for storm relief victims in New York.
Unused cleaning items are the most sought after supplies needed to fill the trailer that will be driven to Crossroads Church, 610 Carmans Road, Farmingdale, N.Y.
What inspired Shawn Millard to want to organize the event is last year's rain in our area filling his home, which normally does not flood, with 4 feet of water.
"Our devastation was bad," Millard said.
He talked about wanting to help those affected by Superstorm Sandy with his girlfriend, who suggested he pray. The answer came to him to call Crossroads Community Church in Jersey Shore.
"That got the ball rolling," Millard said.
After the church agreed to host a trailer in its parking lot along Route 44, he called a trucking company, which donated a 52-foot trailer and someone to drive the items. A gas company donated 100 gallons of gas. A box company donated 570 boxes.
"You gotta lay a foundation," Millard said. "It kind of came together. One thing after another. 'Let's do this. ... Let's fill this trailer.' "
Donations were accepted Nov. 24 and 25, which filled about a third of the trailer. Millard wants to fill the rest.
Donations will be accepted from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Donations possibly will be accepted Monday night. On Tuesday, they will set off to deliver the items to Crossroads Church in New York.
"They happen to have the same name," Millard said. "It's really cool how it all panned up."
Millard has been asking for the following new items: dust face masks, bottled water, canned food, baby food, deodorant, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, blankets, diapers, wet wipes, duct tape, bleach, sponges, garbage bags, toilet paper, brooms, mops, rakes, shovels, paper towels, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, first aid kits, heavy duty gloves for cleanup, tote bags for families to gather their belongings and non-perishable items.
As if two churches with the same name was not enough of a coincidence, the timing worked out perfectly, too.
When the New York church officials said they would take the supplies, they also said that a team from Houston would be coming up at the same time to do cleanup.
Finding a place to take the items was very difficult. Millard made calls to multiple places, but some of them did not have power and could not call him back. He kept hearing how hard-hit New Jersey was, but that was not where he wanted to take the supplies.
"New York was hit worse," Millard said. "There's a foot of sand in their living room. It's devastating."
While he said he coordinated the event, he explained there were other people who helped make it happen.
"It's what we wanted to do as a church," Millard said.