As reports of devastation flow in from New York City, Long Island and New Jersey, locals are stepping up to send items and donate money and blood to help with relief efforts.
Neil Combs, the youth-ministry Webmaster at St. Leo Church in Hilton and a native of Oceanside, N.Y., which is on Long Island, is collecting items he plans to bring to Long Island soon as he travels there to volunteer. Items needed include clothing, food, cleaning supplies, gloves, masks, baby supplies, laundry detergent, batteries and flashlights. Bring items to St. Leo’s Church, 167 Lake Ave., Hilton, and make sure they are marked for New York.
The Sea Breeze Fire Department has sent several trucks full of donated relief items to New York City and Long Island, and firefighters are collecting blankets, pillows, sweatshirts, coats, nonperishable food items and bottled water. Drop off donations at the fire department, 4657 Culver Road, across from Sea Breeze Amusement Park.
Items also can be dropped off at Angel of Mercy, 692 N. Winton Road, Rochester, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily or from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. The local nonprofit, which was started by a Catholic parishioner, is collecting clothing, shoes, boots, gloves, blankets and other items to help those in need, and it plans to send the items with the Sea Breeze Fire Department. Call 585-730-4556 or visit www.angelsofmercyny.org for details.
The Red Cross also is urging blood and platelet donations, due to disruptions in donation schedules in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy and the short shelf lives of blood and platelets. Several Catholic churches are hosting blood drives over the next two weeks. They are: 1 to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at St. James Catholic Church, 503 Clark St., Waverly; 7:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 10, at Holy Family Church, 85 North St., Auburn; 1 to 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, at St. Joseph Church, 43 Gebhardt Road, Penfield; 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Parish at Christ the King Church, 445 Kings Highway, Irondequoit; and 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Sacred Heart Church, 90 Melrose Road, Auburn. For other blood drives, visit www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Monetary donations also are being accepted by Catholic agencies. To donate to Catholic Charities USA, call 1-800-919-9338, or mail a check to Catholic Charities USA, PO Box 17066, Baltimore, MD 21297-1066, or visit www.catholiccharitiesusa.org. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York also is accepting donations; mail checks or credit card information to Catholic Charities, Office of Development, 11th Floor; 1011 First Ave., New York, NY 10022; or make an online donation at www.catholiccharitiesny.org/make-a-donation/.
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York also is accepting volunteers to come work as part of recovery efforts. There is a list of volunteer opportunities available at www.catholiccharitiesnyvolunteer.org.
Catholic Relief Services also is raising money for Hurricane Sandy victims in Haiti, Cuba and Jamaica. For details and to give, visit, www.crs.org or call 1-877-435-7277 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST, or mail a check or money order to Catholic Relief Services, PO Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21203-7090.