After Hurricane Sandy, Severna Forest community resident Kristen Renick thought that once her power came back on, things would be fine. That was until she turned on her TV and saw the pictures of her hometown in New Jersey.
“My husband and I are from New Jersey, and we were really upset,” Renick said. “Once we got power back and saw all the pictures, I think we were in shock.”
Renick grew up in Rumson, NJ, and her husband is from Middleton, NJ—Hurricane Sandy heavily impacted both areas.
Renuck saw the details about the benefit concert and decided to do something to help.
“I sent out an email to the treasurer of our community at like 9 on Friday night,” Renick said. “It was very short and just said we were collecting supplies and taking it to Jersey and asked people to bring what they could. People responded immediately and at 9 the next morning strangers were knocking on my door.”
Renick was able to take two cars full of supplies to two different areas in New Jersey, just from the donations she received over the weekend. Based on that success, she decided to keep it going.
“People kept asking me what else they could do,” she said. “People want to give. They don’t know what to do, but they want to help. It makes them feel good and they are also doing great stuff because we are getting it right to people.”
Renick will continue to collect supplies until Friday, and then she and her husband, along with other neighbors and a few Boy Scout volunteers, are making another trip to New Jersey to drop off the supplies.
Renick said the news coverage is telling people a lot about the major cities that experienced damage, like Atlantic City and Seaside, but said there are many other areas that need help as well.
The supplies that are collected this week will be taken to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church in Highlands, NJ. Renick said the church is located in an area that experienced severe storm damage and doesn’t necessarily have the means to get all the supplies they need.
At the end of the day, Renick said she and her family just wanted to do what they could to help their former town.
“When you see the pictures on TV, and you’re like, 'I know that house—that’s where so and so live,' or 'that is where I went to the beach when I was a kid' and now it was gone—you just have that tie to it, and it is horrible,” she said.
Renick will continue to collect supplies all week at her home in Severna Forest. Those wishing to donate can pick items from the list below and drop them off at 205 Balsam Dr.
“You never think it is going to be your backyard and somewhere you know,” Renick said. “You think it is going to be someone else’s problem. But now it is your friends that have nowhere to live because their town got washed away. We had to help.”
- Cleaning supplies (mops, sponges, gloves, bleach, other cleaning products)
- Garbage bags
- All types of baby supplies
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