Kara Vietro, on right, set up as an event on Facebook for Somers Point residents on Friday. By Saturday morning, more than 2,000 people had responded to the event, she said. On left, Kristi Rago helps sort through donated items.

Anjalee Khemlani

Somers Point's Kara Vietro decided on Friday to set up a social media event with neighbors and friends to collect essential items and raise funds for the American Red Cross and Hurricane Sandy relief.

Initially sent out to 150 people, the event had gained more than 2,500 invitees by Saturday.

“I just woke up and started it,” she said.

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Vietro coordinated with the Red Cross, asking for a list of necessary items, and posted the list to the social media site. Barely two hours after opening the doors to the collection site, more than 25 cases of water and various food and clothing items were brought into the American Legion building, at West Pennsylvania Avenue and 1st Street in Somers Point.

“It’s great, people are even bringing in things we didn’t even think to ask,” she said, pointing to a stack of paper plates and cups.

Vietro has coordinated with churches in the area, as well as groups in Ocean City who are helping feed those in need, to donate the items collected.

“I had a woman come in this morning to drop off some stuff and told me she was going to Ocean City to help her mom clean out her house, which was flooded. So I gave her some of the cleaning items,” Vietro said.

Half a dozen volunteers helped her sort through the items and fold or organize them in boxes. Warm clothing, blankets, food, water and hygiene items had been collected, and the group was still in need of cleaning supplies to help flood victims, Vietro said.



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