November 21, 2012 at 2:41 PM
PATERSON, NJ – Members of the Paterson Fire Department will converge on Bradley Beach starting on Thanksgiving Day, and running through the weekend, to deliver hot meals and supplies to nearly 600 people affected by Hurricane Sandy.
"Having the support of the community is so important to firefighters' efforts to do their job," stated Carlos Pagan, President of FMBA Local 2 which represents the rank and file members of the Paterson Fire Department. "While Paterson was thankfully largely unaffected by Sandy, we know all too well how long recovery can take after a disaster and our proud to give back to communities in need."
This effort, spearheaded by former New Jersey resident Nicole Mondejar, will also result in the distribution of over 2000 pounds of supplies residents are in need of as the recovery continues. Information on recovery from a mental health perspective created by the Washington County Mental Health Services in the wake of their own recovery from Hurricane Irene, will also be distributed to victims and volunteers.
"Though I left New Jersey, New Jersey has never left me, and watching those images of the Jersey Shore in the aftermath of Sandy were absolutely heartbreaking," stated Nicole Mondejar. "What started as an effort to bring some relief to those impacted has turned in to so much more than I could have ever expected. I am thankful to my friends and neighbors in my adopted hometown who have given so much to this effort. Though we are many miles away our hope is to brighten the lives of families who are going through this difficult time."
Charles Onorato, President of the Paterson Fire Officers Association added, "This is what New Jersey is all about, fiercely independent, but always willing to come together when our brothers and sisters are in their greatest hour of need. We have heard it from Governor Christie, President Obama, and many of those directly affected, 'we will recover and rebuild'. The men and women of the Paterson Fire Department are proud to be part of that effort."