Linda Nese knows she and her family were lucky.
Their summer home in Brigantine was spared the wrath of Superstorm Sandy.
Just two blocks away, in the Atlantic County Shore town—not so lucky.
"It's odd. You'll go through one section and it's totally untouched," Nese said. "Then you go on another block and there are stickers on homes marking them as condemned."
So, when the Gloucester Township resident got a call for help from Brigantine officials a few days after Sandy, Nese knew what she had to do. She sprung to action and, with help from daughter Christine, immediately launched the "Blankets for Brigantine & Beyond" Facebook page, calling for Gloucester Township area residents to donate much-needed food and supplies for those displaced by the destructive storm.
On Thursday, Nov. 8, Blankets for Brigantine & Beyond made its first delivery to the Brigantine Community Center, dropping of food, clothing and other supplies for about 100 people, Nese said.
There's more to be done. Much more, according to Nese.
"The need is so great, and I don't see this ending in a week or two weeks or three weeks. I plan to keep this going through at least the first of the new year," she said.
Nese encountered people sleeping on floors without any bedding or blankets. The next town Blankets for Brigantine & Beyond will aid is Northfield, Nese said.
Blankets, obviously, are a big need, as are personal hygiene items, canned and non-perishable foods, space heaters, pet food, and clothing, including coats and socks.
Nese, a Gloucester Township Rotary Club member, has drawn assistance for Blankets for Brigantine & Beyond from fellow Rotarians, as well as local businesses. Interact Clubs at Highland, Timber Creek and Triton high schools, as well as Camden County Technical Schools-Gloucester Township Campus, have also pledged support.
As of Friday afternoon, Blankets for Brigantine & Beyond drop-off locations included:
Edlens Meats, at 1170 Chews Landing Road, Laurel Springs (Gloucester Twp.)
Deptford Skating and Fun Center, at 510 Deptford Ave., Westville;
Gerace Jewelers, at 754 W. Clements Bridge Road, Runnemede;
Hello Gorgeous! Salon & Spa, at 1450 Clements Bridge Road, Deptford, 245 Rt. 73 South, Marlton, 157 Bridgeton Pike, Mullica Hill, 1140 White Horse Road, Voorhees and Shoppes at Cross Keys, 611 Berlin-Cross Keys Road, Sicklerville (Gloucester Township);
Washington Township Chamber of Commerce, 5001 Rt. 42, Turnersville
Oscars Carpet One, at 1601 N. Black Horse Pike, Williamstown, and 157 Bridgeton Pike, Mullica Hill
Aversa's Italian Bakery, at 801 Black Horse Pike, Turnersville, and 477 Greentree Road, Washington Township.
To find out how you can help, send an email to email@example.com or through the Facebook page.