Hurricane Sandy passed through New Jersey almost eight months ago, but the recovery is far from over.
And when government funds and insurance checks aren’t available to cover the losses, charities big and small have stepped in to help.
On Saturday morning, members of the Atlantic City Rotary Club distributed washing machines, dryers, sofas, a bed and even a recliner to eight Atlantic City families.
The club, with the help of Texas Avenue School teacher Jen Fair and that school’s principal, Rosetta Johnson, identified several families with specific needs and was able to help them, longtime Rotary member Kay Seelig said.
Several families from the Sovereign Avenue School were helped, too, with assistance from Principal Medina Peyton, whose brother, Jeff Wilson, is the local club’s president-elect.
The club had made donations to other groups, such as the Salvation Army and American Red Cross, but member Don Guardian said the club knew some people and their needs would fall through the cracks as aid was distributed to thousands across the state.
Then, the Rotary Club came in with donations that could be used to address the needs yet to be filled.
Guardian said the effort is an example of the Rotarian motto “service above self.”
“We thought the best thing we can do is purchase the appliances they need,” he said, adding they also planned to install the appliances along the way.
The goods donations were made possible by a Rotary thousands of miles away in California, where Atlantic City native Joe Pileggi now lives.
The Almaden Valley Rotary Foundation sent $10,000 to the Atlantic City Rotary Club. The club, thanks to some savvy shopping by Seelig and member Dolly Fair at Art Handler’s Appliance Center and Big Lots, purchased all the appliances and furnishings delivered Saturday around the city.
Seelig said about $3,200 remains. She’ll use it to buy more furnishings as needed.
The local rotary club received donations as small as $50 and as large as the $10,000 gift from other Rotary groups or Rotarians after Hurricane Sandy.
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