Women of Wilmington Help Send Sunshine to Sandy Towns
A group of volunteers teamed up with a group called Sending Sunshine based out of Andover to send supplies to hurricane victims.
Let’s face it. Sometimes you just need a little sunshine to get you through the day. For so many victims of Hurricane Sandy, that sunshine comes to them in the form of the donations that, right now, help get them through the day.
Recently, an e-mail was sent to many Wilmington families from Wilmington Public Schools Superintendent Joanne Benton regarding a charitable organization called Sending Sunshine. The group, which is based in Andover, was formed, as they explain on their Facebook page, “To Shine with Kindness for Hurricane Sandy Families.”
Once that e-mail went out it didn’t take long for The Women of Wilmington to catch on and begin to collect items for donation.
“We found out about it two ways, through the broadcast email message sent out from the Wilmington schools," explained Michelle Bryan. "Also, a WOW member, Lou Forte, put us in touch with Carlene Alpert who was one of the organizers. After speaking with Carlene, we decided we could help out.”
Thankfully damage from Hurricane Sandy was fairly minimal in our area but, as we all know, other parts of the East Coast were not so lucky.
“The hardest hit areas in New York and New Jersey are, of course, where WOW hopes the donations they collected for Sending Sunshine will make the biggest difference.” Bryan said. “The donations are being brought directly to people in New York and New Jersey. They are asking if people have contacts in the area that can provide additional drop off locations to let them know.”
While WOW might be a local organization, they still strive to make a difference anywhere that they can.
“WOW is focused on helping the community.This was a case where we could do something for communities so severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” said Bryan. “Last year WOW established Clothing Drive at Villanova Hall which is run most months. Because of the abundance of donations we received, we became a referring agency to The Lowell Wish Project and Mission of Deeds and now bring the donations to these locations. Families here in town can use either agency. After speaking with Sending Sunshine, Jen and I felt we could take all the donations we collected this past weekend and bring them to Sending Sunshine.”
Those donations, however, were no small task when it came to delivery time. WOW recruited enough volunteers to help sort, pack and deliver four carloads of essential clothing and household items to the Sending Sunshine headquarters.
In true WOW fashion the troops included WOW kids who Bryan explained, like their parents, were out to make a difference
“Several of our members and their children spent time on Sunday sorting through donations," she said. "Several of us brought our children to the drop off in Andover so they could see the whole operation and get a sense of how their volunteering makes a difference on the grand scale.”
Without a doubt Hurricane Sandy was a storm of epic proportions and Wilmington’s WOW did their best to help.
“Anytime disaster strikes, its human nature to reach out and help. To have this happen so close to home, made us realize this can happen anywhere. Seeing the devastation, and all these people who lost everything, make you want to do whatever you can,” said Bryan. “Dropping off the donations, we could see how grateful they were that communities all over where pitching in. WOW focuses on helping others and this was a great opportunity to do just that.”