UPPER FREEHOLD: Residents gather donations for storm victims

Donations can be brought to Byron Johnson park Nov. 17 & 18

By Jane Meggitt, Special Writer
   UPPER FREEHOLD — Nancy DiPasquale didn’t have power at her own house last week, but she came to the Township Committee meeting anyway to get permission to collect donations at Byron Johnson park for shore hurricane victims.
   Residents who want to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy in Monmouth County coastal communities can bring donations to a tractor-trailer at Byron Johnson park between noon and 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17 and Sunday, Nov. 18.
   Donations will be trucked to Thompson Park in Lincroft, where the county is sorting and distributing items for delivery to communities most severely impacted by the hurricane.
   The most requested items are: work gloves and latex gloves, bleach and other cleaning supplies, flashlights, size C and D batteries, rakes, shovels, heavy-duty trash bags, goggles, packing tape, Sharpie-type markers, paper towels, rags, sponges, mops, brooms, buckets, and firewood. Other needed items are shelf milk, storage bins, cereal, Gatorade, new toiletries, hand-sanitizer, dish detergent, laundry detergent, new infant clothes and baby-care items, toys, gift cards and phone cards. Used clothing is not requested at this time.
   Ms. DiPasquale, who lives in the Jewel Ridge development off Jonathan Holmes Road, told the Township Committee on Nov. 8 that she and her husband, Henry, reached out to friends and neighbors using the Allentown/Upper Freehold Neighborhood Facebook page to organize the relief effort.
   The original Facebook post had asked people to bring donations to Byron Johnson park on Sunday, Nov. 4 and within an hour on that day they packed both their cars — an SUV and a Honda — with donations, she said.
   Others on the Facebook page urged her to do it again, and a Robbinsville business, Bohren’s Moving and Storage, offered her the use of a trailer free of charge to store the donated items, Ms. DiPasquale said. Bohren’s even agreed to have one of its employees drive the loaded trailer to the county’s drop-off point in Lincroft.
   Ms. DiPasquale asked the Township Committee last week to give her permission to park the trailer at the park, which she said could become the western Monmouth County point for Jersey Shore relief donations. The trailer would not have a cab, and would be locked. Ms. DiPasquale said she would have the key.
   Mayor LoriSue Horsnall Mount said she thought it was a great idea, although the township already has an official donation drop-off site at the first aid squad building on Route 526.
   Township Attorney Granville Magee said there shouldn’t be any insurance issues for the municipality if it allowed the trailer at the park because it would be similar to a Salvation Army or other charity drop-off box with charitable immunity.
   Ms. DiPasquale said a Bohren’s representative would fax the township an insurance certificate for the trailer. Mr. Magee asked Ms. DiPasquale to let the township know when she would finish the collections and have the trailer removed.
   Committeeman Stan Moslowski Jr. said he had been down to the Jersey Shore during the past week and that people there need the help.
   For more information about the donation drive and the items that are most needed, contact Ms. DiPasquale through Facebook at www.facebook.com/nancydipasquale, or email her at [email protected].
   If possible, people should sort and label their donations in boxes so the items can be more quickly processed at the distribution center in Lincroft, she said.