Local Residents Continue To Support Sandy Survivors

Salvation Army officers, trained volunteers and staff continue to provide support to the New Jersey survivors of Hurricane Sandy.

Empire State Division Director of Emergency Services Leslie Vattimo, of Jamestown, has returned to The Salvation Army’s Eastern Territory Headquarters in West Nyack to serve as logistics chief as the Army continues to provide disaster relief to those impacted by October’s hurricane. She is assigned there until the end of January.

Retired Salvation Army officers Majors Joe and Ruth Pritchard, also of Jamestown, and volunteers Marie Cole, John Whitcomb and John Chadwick have worked at two Salvation Army sites.

The Pritchards and Cole were in Hazlet, N.J., working at a site distributing goods, providing emotional and spiritual care support and referral services to survivors.

Chadwick and Whitcomb were in Toms River, N.J., distributing goods and emotional and spiritual care support to those affected in the shore areas. Since many areas near Toms River are still not accessible by car, they are using ATVs in order to reach people. The New Jersey Salvation Army is working on finding a new distribution site to anchor Army services in Ortley Beach, which is close to Toms River, said Vattimo.

Cole is from Sidney, N.Y.; Whitcomb is from Spencer, and Chadwick is from Batavia.

The Pritchards, Cole, Whitcomb and Chadwick served until Jan. 15.

From Jan. 15 through Jan. 31, Myrtle Whitcomb and Maj. Patty Kurtz will be in New Jersey. Both will be assigned to either Hazlet or Toms River. Myrtle Whitcomb is from Spencer, and Maj. Kurtz is from Batavia.

Vattimo helped to set up the new site with support from the Army’s Eastern Territory headquarters and the Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC), which manage the Salvation Army Family Store sites.

“We have a great partnership between ARC and emergency disaster services. Without their help and coordination of staff and trucks, we would not be able to help as many as we do. We are issuing vouchers to survivors for them to obtain clothing, furniture and household goods at the family stores,” she noted.

“With the holiday season over, many survivors are facing the enormity of the storm’s damage – how do I rebuild my home and replace everything, while mourning things that can’t be replaced or a life that’s gone,” said Vattimo.

The Salvation Army of New Jersey’s Emergency Assistance Centers will provide client intake and assessment; linkage to other agencies and referrals; large-scale distribution of in-kind donated items, ranging from clothing to household goods; cash card financial assistance and food boxes.

The Salvation Army is grateful for the continued support of the donating public. By the end of December, the Army had received more than $16 million to support relief efforts.

Monetary donations are the most critical need as supplies and personnel move into the areas of greatest need.

Donors are encouraged to give online at www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).