Family seeks a way to help after Sandy

Supply drive scheduled for Nov. 17-18 at Johnson Park

By Andrew Martins

UPPER FREEHOLD – Before trees were cleared from the roads and power was restored following the destructive power of post-tropical storm Sandy, people from across the country began gathering their resources to help the embattled Jersey Shore.


With images of the unprecedented amount of destruction wrought upon the Jersey Shore peppering thousands of personal Facebook feeds, a large portion of the relief effort has taken to the Internet.


So on Nov. 3, when Nancy DiPasquale of Cream Ridge took to the Allentown-Upper Freehold Township Facebook page to offer her assistance to people who wanted to donate items to the relief effort, she said she knew there would be a response.


For the DiPasquale family, the Sandy relief effort has a more personal meaning, as their Belmar vacation home was in the storm’s flood zone. Although their home remained intact following the storm surge and high-speed winds, Nancy said other areas of the neighborhood were not so lucky.


“The boardwalk went right up to our door,” she said. “It’s strange when you are familiar with the area … and you see that people can’t live there any longer. It’s heartbreaking.”


Flanked by her husband, Henry, and her son, Colin, 7, DiPasquale said they went to Byron Johnson Park in Allentown to receive donations they would drive to an outlet mall in Manasquan.


“Within one hour, we packed our two cars, one of which is an SUV,” DiPasquale said. “Since then, we still have a laundry room full of our own things.”


As a result of the community’s response, a moving company based in Robbinsville, Bohren’s Moving and Storage, has donated a tractor-trailer to serve as an auxiliary drop-off location in Monmouth County.


The Township Committee has agreed to allow the trailer to be parked at Johnson Park overnight for a supply drive that is scheduled to take place from noon to 3 p.m. on Nov. 17-18.


Items needed include work gloves, latex gloves, flashlights, C and D batteries, bleach and other cleaning products, rakes, contractor trash bags, packing tape, paper towels, rags, sponges, mops, brooms, buckets, firewood, shelf milk, storage bins, cereal, toiletries, goggles, hand sanitizer, dish detergent, laundry detergent, disinfectants, gift cards, phone cards and unworn baby clothes.


All donations will be taken to a centrally located distribution center in Monmouth County. Anyone who would like to volunteer to assist in sorting items during the collection may contact Nancy DiPasquale at