Local Hurricane Sandy relief effort needs your help

The Brick, NJ home belongs to one of Lomeli’s friends.

ANTELOPE VALLEY – In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, a local relief effort is underway to help victims in the most devastated areas.

Christina Lomeli, with the help of local businesses, has organized a relief effort to ship supplies to residents in New Jersey and New York, including first responders, who lost their homes as a result of Hurricane Sandy. The group is calling on the Antelope Valley community to donate the following items:

  • Coats
  • Winter gloves/hats,
  • Snow boots,
  • Rain boots,
  • Socks
  • Batteries
  • Sealed and NEW baby formula
  • Gently used children’s books & puzzles
  • New coloring books/crayons
  • New men’s T-shirts, underwear and socks (for emergency service personnel)
  • Cash donations (to cover the cost of shipping the items.)

Donations can be dropped off at any of the following Collection Centers:

  • PALMDALE: Alliance Business & Shipping Center, located at 5022 West Avenue N in Palmdale (661.722.2221)
  • LANCASTER: Max Muscle of Lancaster Sports Nutrition, located at 42303 10th Street West in Lancaster (661.723.8418)
  • ACTON: The Rustic Cafe & Bakery~ Fresh Eats & Treats, located at 33312 Santiago Road in Acton

The AV Times caught up with Lomeli, via email, to find out why she decided to take on the local Hurricane Sandy relief effort. Read the conversation below:

AVT: Who is organizing this project? An organization, or AV residents, like yourself?

C. Lomeli: I, myself, am organizing [the project] with the help of the businesses who are accepting donations, and the use of social media. Volunteers are also stepping up. It’s been a great reaction from the community, thus far.

AVT: Where are the shipments going?

C. Lomeli: The shipments will go to the most devastated areas in New Jersey and New York – predominantly shelters, clothing banks, firehouses. First responders are on day eight, and they too have lost their own homes. They have requested simple things like socks, t-shirts, and underwear. We have five particular areas we want to ensure get delivery, where they are getting very little to no help at all, even still.

AVT: What is the deadline (date) to donate?

C. Lomeli: Clothing donation deadline will be November 10. Monetary donations will be ongoing, to cover our shipping costs, and long term will ultimately be donated to the disaster fund relief projects in NJ/NY.

This Fairhaven, NJ home was also devastated by Hurricane Sandy. (Contributed Photo)

AVT: Why have you decided to take on this project?

C. Lomeli: New Jersey is my home state. My family and friends are still in NJ/NY, and many [of my] friends have lost their homes. Many other people in the AV also have family in the devastation areas, and being 3,000 miles away, there is not much else we can do.

Five days ago, more than eight million people were without power in 17 states. Thousands of homes were inundated; thousands of people are still under evacuation orders.  These areas in NJ/NY haven’t felt the wrath of a storm like this in their lifetime.

We know from Katrina and Haiti that donations to the Red Cross and telethons take months to be distributed where they are needed. There is a shortage of warm clothes, there is a shortage of food, and a shortage of gas. It just breaks my heart to see children on TV shivering, while their families wait in 4-8 hour lines for ONE blanket.

AVT: Why should AV residents donate?

C. Lomeli: Hurricane Sandy victims never imagined, nor have they ever seen, this type of devastation. They are scared, they are lost, and they are suffering major loss right before the holidays.

As a 13-year resident of the AV, I know how loving and caring the people are here. There isn’t a soul I know in the AV who wouldn’t want to help. We just need to get the relief project efforts put out there… I have collected 75 bags of clothes since Saturday. All it took [is] me seeing my high school friend’s home, as well as her mother’s home, inundated, with pictures of their homeless kids looking at what once was. She told me there are thousands and thousands more like her. And she pleaded for help.

The local Hurricane Sandy relief effort also needs volunteers to help sort and box the donated items for shipping. To volunteer, contact Christina Lomeli at 661-547-8129 or email victimsofsandy@gmail.com.

* If you make a donation, please email your address to victimsofsandy@gmail.com so that the group can send you support ribbons as a token of appreciation for your support.

  15 comments for “Local Hurricane Sandy relief effort needs your help

  1. Forward
    November 11, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Direct link for NYC rescue/relief activities:

    If people would like to donate $$ directly to NYC:

  2. November 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Thank you ExpertTroll
    I’m new to this site…thanks for the heads up..:)

    • November 6, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      WOW Double take…
      Remember hit the enter key and WAIT, don’t just retype and send again, what a goof :)…
      Sorry my bad….:(

  3. November 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I see how this works…I’m new to this site…thanks for the heads up..:)

  4. Rj
    November 5, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    How have you verified this cause to make sure it’s not a fraud trying to swoop in during a time of need? Sad to say, but it does happen. AV Times is it your responsibility to confirm these sorts of stories?…

    • Christina
      November 9, 2012 at 11:59 am

      Hi RJ, I can assure you its not a scame or fraud. Feel free to give me a call or an email if you would like to chat…Id love to gain your confidence and your support. Chrisina :)

  5. Laurie
    November 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    This is wonderful. I hope the people of New Jersey and New York get the help and shelter they need. I will drop off some coats for the cause and $25 for costs for your cause. May they find salvation at this trying time.

    • November 6, 2012 at 10:42 am

      Just send cash!!!
      I have heard that what they really need is cash….clothes and food are fine…but where are the people going to keep the clothes/food…they have no closets…no houses…no place to store anything extra…
      I for one think it would be best to send cash to the RED CROSS and let them, since they are there, use it where needed.
      My prayers and thoughts are with those who have lost so much.

      • Uncle Tom
        November 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm

        Cash to the Red Cross is likely best I agree. Often times good meaning folks get clothing and supply collections going, and what ends of happening is wherever they send it too, now has to wash it all, catalog it, store it, and distribute it, and then deal with the leftovers. Cash allows the Red Cross to get the exact supplies needed, where they are needed, etc.

        Again, I know people want to help and donate clothing and blankets and such, but it tends to be far more of a hassle than just sending money. And don’t send cash or donate to random charities that say they are helping Sandy victims, or give info to people on the phone that call. Donate to the Red Cross (can’t think of any other trustworthy groups at the moment).

        I do wish you good luck with the relief drive though, I do hope you have better luck with your efforts than many have in the past.

        • November 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm

          Not sure why I would get a thumbs down???
          Just trying to help….in the best why I can.

          • ExpertTroll
            November 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm

            Never express your concern with the thumb rating of your posts, particularly thumbs down. That is how the trolls know they have won.

      • Christina
        November 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm

        I appreciate your feedback. So Id like to explain. We are sorting, labeling, and going thru the list of clothing sizes and needs, this research was handled by me personally with the help of contacts in NJ and NY to ensure these items go where they will be used. Red Cross has NO system in place. I have contacted our local chapter to see the possibilities on incorporating such a program. The red cross has NOT supplied clothing to victims of Sandy. They have supplied some food, water, and blankets, as well as some first aid and hygiene items. Clothing has come from residents outside the devastation areas as well as clothing banks. And most food has been brought in again by residents, small business owners, and some National Guard outlets. I hope you will support our efforts. Any further questions feel free to email or give me a call. I am more than happy to provide you with info as to where victims belongs are being kept, and any questions you’d like answered.

        • Christina
          November 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm

          And yes I have done hundreds of loads of laundry too!!! Everything is being washed including toys!! Can we say sleep deprived!!!

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