Jim Long, of Breezy Point is just one of hundreds that lost so much during Hurricane Sandy — his home flooded, his brother's and parent's homes burned to the ground along with 109 other houses. But, Long and his family are determined to help those in need.
"Whatever we can do to help, we will do it," said Long. "Some of these homes collapsed in the place where they stood. This was a beautiful beach community — a nice place to be. It was severely impacted."
To accomplish his goal, Long and his wife, Pam have teamed up with the Hampton Bays Mother's Association to raise money in the form of gift cards that will be handed out to those whose homes were devastated during the storm.
Kerry Wilkie, of the Hampton Bays Mother's Association and long-time friend of Pam, kicked off the effort last Saturday during a one-time mass donation collection drive held at the Hampton Bays Fire Department.
To date, she has collected $2,200 worth of gift cards with $900 in gift cards already delivered to residents in Breezy Point and the Rockaways.
"It's a drop in the bucket, but a good start," she said.
As part of the effort, Wilkie has reached out to area business owners who have agreed to collect the gift cards on behalf of the association. Stores including Scotto's on Main Street in Hampton Bays; Southampton Stationery on Hampton Rd. in Southampton Village, The Southampton Publick House; Bowden Sq., Southampton; C's Home and Office Management 3331 Noyack Rd. Sag Harbor; Agaves in Bridghampton; and Katherine and Co., Westhampton Beach, Main Street are all designated drop spots.
Recommended gift cards include ones from Target, Old Navy, Amex, Visa, or MasterCard.
"With the help of the Long family of Breezy Point, who are dear friends of mine, these gift cards will distributed to victims of Hurricane Sandy through the neighborhood churches," said Wilkie.
And Wilkie said she won't stop at Breezy Point.
"There are many other towns that need help, so we will continue our drive and help as many people as we can," she said, noting that if there are any local families in need, they should contact her at 631 741-7014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We will do our best to make sure their needs are taken care of as soon as possible," she said.
For more ways to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, click here.
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