NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The city fire department is leading a local effort to collect supplies for residents affected by a wave of hurricanes that hit the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico this summer.
The city’s disaster relief drive continues through November 30, and residents can drop off supplies at the fire department headquarters at 93 Joyce Kilmer Avenue, New Brunswick.
Donations must be new and unopened. The fire department is requesting donations of batteries, flashlights, manual can openers, canned food, mosquito repellent, phone chargers, shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush/paste, dental floss/mouthwash, soap/body wash, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, diapers, feminine hygiene products, razors/shaving cream and first aid kits.
“As a caring and giving community, and with many New Brunswick residents with family and friends affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the earthquakes in Oaxaca and near Mexico city, please consider giving to those who desperately need help,” city spokesperson Jennifer Bradshaw wrote in a statement.
On September 30, members of the city fire department met at the AM White Glove Delivery Group’s warehouse on Jersey Avenue to prepare the first shipment of donations, Bradshaw said.
At the warehouse, volunteers loaded a 40-foot shipping container with supplies such as food, diapers and generators, after which the container made its way to Puerto Rico, where it arrived on November 2.
Volunteers from The Sanctuary, a church based in North Brunswick, are traveling to Puerto Rico to ensure the supplies makes its way to residents in need.
“Once it arrives in port there, the volunteer team’s plan is to break the supplies down into smaller trucks and drive them 25 minutes to Bayamon, Puerto Rico, where they will set up a distribution point to get the supplies out to residents there,” Bradshaw said.
As donations continue to come in, the fire department is hoping to send those along to disaster relief efforts in Florida and Texas.