Posted by Liam O'Kennedy November 24, 2012 09:00 AM
A Methuen resident is asking for donations of new and unwrapped toys, books and blankets for a toy drive to benefit young victims of Hurricane Sandy from Breezy Point, N.Y. The drive will take place on Sunday, Nov. 25, from noon - 4 p.m. at Northeast Storage Corporation in North Andover. All donations should be appropriate for children 12 and under.
Two days after the hurricane struck, Sharon Tucker lay awake in bed at 2 a.m., television images of the devastation wrought on Breezy Point by a fire during the chaos of Hurricane Sandy looping in her head.
She decided she had to do something to help.
"What would I feel like if I had lost everything I owned in a short amount of time?" she asked herself.
But what could she do?
Tucker had worked with the Salvation Army after Hurricane Katrina to collect toys, books and blankets for children. And with the holidays approaching, and more than 100 homes in the close-knit Queens neighborhood leveled by flooding and fire, a toy drive seemed like the best way to bring a little joy to the kids of Breezy Point.
Tucker turned to her church, St. Monica's in Methuen, for help. New to the parish, she was nervous as she stood in front of the congregation last weekend to ask for the community's support.
But parishioners were eager to help. The money poured in, and bolstered by a few private donations, the toy fund quickly swelled to over $1,600.
The next day, Tucker called Northeast Storage Corporation. She needed boxes to hold the donations. The company gave her the boxes for free. And donated a storage unit to house the items. And offered to help deliver them to Catholic Charities in New York in a moving truck when they're ready to be shipped.
"I was overwhelmed. I'm so excited about all these toys that are going down there," Tucker said.
Tucker has since spent a chunk of the money on toys, books and blankets. She's collecting the items in the donated unit, and hopes for a large turnout on Sunday, when anyone is invited to bring donations to the facility at 466 Sutton St. in North Andover.
For more information, call Sharon Tucker at 978-478-8688 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org