Police & Fire

Spotswood First Responders Bring Surrounding Communities Together To Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

Spotswood first responders banded together to stage a collection of water and other non-perishable supplies for Hurricane Harvey flood victims. The response was massive. Credits: Photo Courtesy of Spotswood Police Department's Facebook Page
Area residents and businesses pitched in to help the more than one million Texans pushed from their homes by the devastating storm. Credits: Photo Courtesy of Spotswood Police Department's Facebook Page
The two-day collection netted 70 pallets of bottled water, non-perishable food and more. Credits: Photo Courtesy of Spotswood Police Department's Facebook Page
Enterprise Iron saw the Spotswood Police Department's posting on Facebook and staged their own collection in Millstone, transporting the supplies to the Spotswood Fire Department on Main Street. Credits: Photo Courtesy of Spotswood Police Department's Facebook Page

SPOTSWOOD, NJ - New Jersey has suffered its fair share of hurricanes. However, it's hard to imagine the Houston area enduring more water than Hurricanes Floyd, Irene and Sandy combined. In response to the devastation facing tens of thousands of Texans, Spotswood first responders banded together last week to stage a collection for flood victims.

The call went out over social media and around Spotswood and Helmetta for donations of water, diapers, baby formula and non-perishable food items. Their response, thanks to the power of social media, was overwhelming.

"Our biggest contributors were Enterprise Iron, which is a business from Matawan who saw our flyer on Facebook and set up their own drop off location in Millstone and then transported their donations to us," Patrolman Adam Sabatino explained. "Jamesburg Elks, Curves of Spotswood and the Manalapan High School football team all made large donations. Spotswood EMS led the charge with Dave Nichols and Sonam Patel doing a large portion of the organizing. Multiple members of the Spotswood Fire Department and OEM assisted with packaging and transporting the bulk. Stephen Gallo and myself assisted from the PBA."

Sign Up for E-News

"Pete Kulbaki from Brunswick Memorial Home not only donated, but provided us with a second trailer to streamline the transportation process. Pete is a huge supporter of the Spotswood Emergency Services and always helps the PBA when needed," Sabatino continued.

In addition to those large contributions, the Spotswood Fire Department on Main Street in the borough saw a steady stream of Spotswood, Helmetta and area residents throughout the day on August 30 and August 31, dropping off bottled water, diapers and more.

Substantial donations also came in from the South Amboy Fire Department, Monmouth Fencing, Circle Janitorial, Spotswood American Legion Post 253, the Spotswood Funeral Home and employees from the Spotswood ShopRite.

Collecting the donations was only one facet of the humanitarian mission and it was here that Spotswood and the surrounding communities stepped up as well. International Paper provided the Spotswood first responders with the boxes needed to package and ship the donations to Texas. Dr. Leonard from Edison provided the warehouse space to store the items in addition to the workers needed to pack the tractor trailers. Dr. Leonard also contributed to the cause with donations of their own. Giancola came through with the necessary forklifts to move the loaded pallets.

Helmetta mayor, Chris Slavicek treated all of the first responders, volunteering their time over the two-day collection process, to breakfast.

"The outpouring of donations from people in Spotswood and the surrounding communities was huge," said Cate Leedy, the Administrative Assistant for Spotswood. "The volunteers from all the emergency services branches put in a couple of marathon days, not finishing up until 10 or 11 each night. I have to tell you, I am so blessed and so proud to work with these people. They are the best."
By September 1, the community-wide endeavor produced 70 heaping pallets of bottled water, personal hygiene products, cleaning supplies, non-perishable food items, pet supplies and diapers that are packed and in the process of being shipped to Texas.
Harvey will most likely go down in American history as one of the costliest hurricanes. The storm's wind, monumental rain and widespread flooding claimed the lives of 39 people, including a family of six whose minivan was swept away by rushing flood waters. One million people are currently displaced from their homes because of massive flooding. More than 180,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged by Harvey. As of Friday, September 1 over 40,000 residents were living in shelters. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 364,000 Texans have applied for government assistance.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Carteret Police Department Investigated for Firearm Permit Irregularities

March 20, 2018

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ - During a time when intense scrutiny is being placed on the sale, purchase, and registration of firearms, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced today that an investigation is underway concerning the issuance of firearms permits by the Carteret Police Department.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office has learned that numerous Permits to Purchase ...

Hillsborough: Suspended HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

March 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Suspended Hillsborough High School Athletic Director Michael Fanizzi has been arrested and charged with the theft of $10,704 in athletic event receipts over a four-year period from 2013-2017, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Fanizzi, 53, a resident of Conover Way in Hillsborough who had been athletics director for 14 years,, had been suspended ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, March 21, 8:00 PM

Kidztopia, Matawan

Business Women Networking Event

Sat, March 24

Black Diamond Billiard's, Union

Ladies 9-Ball Pro-Am by the Garden State Pool Tour

Sat, March 24

Black Diamond Billiard's, Union

Ladies 9-Ball Pro-Am by the Garden State Pool Tour

Middlesex chamber to hold "Make It & Move It Middlesex" event on Tuesday

March 20, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK — Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald Rios, Freeholder Kenneth Armwood and Freeholder Charles Kenny will be the featured guests tomorrow at “Make It & Move It Middlesex,” a four-part economic development series hosted by the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

Make It & Move It Middlesex is designed to connect the ...

Millennials Embrace Family Travel - Move Over Baby Boomers

March 20, 2018

FLORHAM PARK NJ - 88 million Americans are planning to take family vacations this year, the largest group planning getaways are millennials.

"Just like generations before them, millennials see a family vacation as one of the best ways to create memories and reconnect with loved ones," said Rick Del Nero, AAA Northeast Vice President of Travel. "No matter their age, families ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...