Local Effort Sending Help to Hurricane Sandy Victims
Find out how you can join in.
Lyndsay Dowd of North Andover, originally from New York, watched the coverage of Hurricane Sandy and felt she needed to do something.
So she is.
"Sure I could give money, and I did, but that wasn't enough," Dowd said. "So I started a donation drive between my friends and neighbors."
Dowd's donation drive accumulated more than 60 bags of clothing, blankets, diapers, toys, kids clothes, coats, water, batteries, toiletries and more in just a couple days. And her drive is still at it. But figuring out how to get all that stuff down to the impacted region was a challenge.
"I came across a group on Facebook called Sending Sunshine and realized I could help to make a much bigger impact than the one I was already making," Dowd said. "Sending Sunshine was started by a like-minded Mom, Diane Dillon from Andover. She was smart enough to find an empty building, called the landlord and got him/Harrington Moving Company to lend us 10,000 square feet so we could sort and store our donations. The landlord also is offering to use his company to help with pick ups anywhere in the area. Diane also is partnering with FEMA and the Red Cross to ensure everything is going to get where it should. She then called Bob's Discount Furniture and they are helping transport what we collect to the towns in need. Staples gave us free copies of our flyers and Home Depot gave 60 trash cans to help us sort. All day the donations came in."
Dowd has made the rounds at the North Andover Youth Center, New England Montessori School, Bulger's Animal Hospital, North Andover Fire Department and other places, and has seen success.
"Happily, we are seeing folks volunteer their time as well as resources," Dowd said. "Kids are helping out with signs and labels as well as sorting."
Sending Sunshine is collecting donations all this week and weekend from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Dundee Park, 3 Railroad St., Andover.