Firefighters hold donation drive for Sandy victims

MT. LAUREL, N.J. - November 8, 2012

Box by box, bag by bag the piles quickly grew at Mount Laurel Fire Headquarters.

Over the span of 24 hours, the township is trying to collect all they can.

"I've never been through something like that. I saw it, I've seen it on the news. I just couldn't even imagine," said Lt. Dan Opizzi.

Several firefighters had the idea for the drive and it grew from there as more and more township workers got involved.

Smith and Solomon donated a 45 foot trailer. All they needed were donations to fill it.

Turns out, getting them was as easy as putting the word out.

"Every little bit help, even if it's a dollar. That's how I look at it," said Joe Moute of Mount Laurel.

The truck can hold 50,000 pounds and the response has been so overwhelming, they might need a second truck before the 24 hours is through.

Starting at 6:30 a.m. Thursday, residents from Mount Laurel and beyond began showing up with cars full of goods including non-perishable food, drinks, diapers, cleaning supplies.

The donations kept rolling in from households and businesses alike.

"One of the things we do is company clothing and giveaways with the company's name on it. So, we had some leftovers from prior years or old orders and we were able to box some things up and bring it to the firehouse," said Scott Zimmerman of Artcraft Promotional Concepts.

Suzy Nick moved here a year ago from California. She remembers the relief efforts to help earthquake victims, and wanted to give back.

"This is my new state. I know that we've had earthquakes in the past people have donated, so you have to help take care of people," she said.

The drive runs until 6:30 a.m. Friday. Then the goods will be delivered to Manahawkin.

If you would like to donate, the firefighters are collecting these supplies:

Cleaning: Mops, buckets, rubber gloves, trash bags, towels, paper towels
Toiletries: Soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes
Clothing: Socks, Men's, Women's, children's sweatpants & sweatshirts
Baby: Diapers, wipes, blankets
Food: Non-perishables, water

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