Howell PAL collecting supplies for hurricane relief effort

HOWELL – The Howell PAL is collecting supplies to assist residents of North Carolina and South Carolina who have been impacted by Hurricane Florence.

The Howell PAL will be delivering the supplies directly to individuals in need. Anyone wishing to donate items (tax deductible) may drop them off at the Howell PAL office in the Southard Community Enrichment Center, 115 Kent Road, Howell.

“We are going to be collecting supplies to go down (to North Carolina and South Carolina) to hand out and distribute to those who need them,” said Chris Hill, president of the Howell PAL and a retired sergeant in the Howell Police Department.

Hill said a disaster response team will head south to help with the relief effort.

“Once (officials and residents in the two states) get into the true recovery mode, (the disaster response team) will start going down and helping people clean out their homes and trying to get them back to some normalcy,” he said.

The response team will include adult and youth volunteers from Howell and surrounding communities.

“We have educators, corporate people, and law enforcement (officers) who have joined us in the past, along with high school youths … Last year we were in Houston (after Hurricane Harvey) and the kids did a fantastic job, so it is a huge opportunity for them to help people,” Hill said.

“We went from house to house, we did what we had to do and moved to the next house, we do not have time to sit there and dwell. These residents’ lives are turned upside down while we are sitting here, we are fortunate. Although we went through this with Superstorm Sandy, we are now able to give back and do more,” he said.

Hill said it may seem like a cliche to say, but “anything you can do goes a long way to help someone else.”

“These people have lost everything, you are talking about communities where the entire community was lost. Everything there was flooded and to have to go in and help people clean out, the only thing they have is memories, to help them to try and find memories is definitely a heartwarming thing. So anything you can do truly helps,” he said.

The Howell PAL is accepting donations of the following items: bottled water, dry food, canned food, baby food, formula, diapers, baby wipes, pet food, household cleaning products, paper towels, large garbage bags, batteries, disposable gloves, soap and shampoo.

Individuals who would like to make a monetary donation may mail a check to Howell PAL, P.O. Box 713, Howell, NJ 07731, or bring their donation to the PAL office at 115 Kent Road. For more information, call 732-919-2825.