A grassroots team of Phoenixville residents is collecting supplies for Sandy victims in New York and New Jersey, and, while they’re thankful for the generosity of the borough, they insist the job is still far from over.
“These people are going to need everything,” said Karen Johns from the group’s makeshift 115 Main Street headquarters, shaking her head at the scope of the devastation. “Everything.”
On Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the group will be collecting supplies from the storefront.
So far, the collection has been a success. Thanks to the generosity of Faulkner Swamp Nursery School in Gilbertsville, the Chester Valley Soccer Club, and a host of other small donors, the group has amassed quite a stockpile.
“Today is the eighth day and…well, take a look,” said volunteer Walt Bohn, gesturing to rows of bedding, toiletries, canned goods, clothing, and other staples.
They still have a ways to go to.
The relief team does a daily inventory and updates their Facebook page with the supplies they need most dearly. On November 15, volunteer Kathy Rentschler said they were short pet supplies, toiletires, blankets, kitchen supplies, and cleaning supplies. They, at the moment, are no longer accepting clothing.
Additionally, residents interested in making cash donations can do so directly at Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust. Checks can be made out to “Phoenixville Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort” and sent to:
Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust
P.O. Box 708
Phoenixville, PA 19460-0708
Attn: Mary Trexler
Local businesses are getting involved too. Developer Manny DeMutis donated the collection space, while Foresta's, Jaworski’s, Total Rental, and True Value Hardware each have collection boxes in their stores. And, according to volunteer Maureen Rowan, the downtown merchants are considering extending discounts to people who donate to the cause.
The group will also have a collection table set up at Redner’s Market on December 1 and 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The volunteers say their yeoman's work will last as long as a need is there.
“What would be the biggest fear is that people, a month from now, forget, think it’s over. It really won’t be,” sighed Richard Devaney.
“It’s going to take a long time. There still people in FEMA trailers from Katrina.”