In Sandy’s wake, a surge of support

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Bertha Pruitt, executive director of the Five Towns Community Center, said that the building, on Lawrence Avenue in Lawrence, became a distribution center for organizations such as the Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management, which dropped off food and supplies. “We have volunteers from all over who take the supplies and distribute them to locations around the community,” Pruitt said. “People can also come and pick them up. It’s been a group effort to make sure every sector of the community is taken care of.”

Nearly 20 people slept at the community center between Nov. 5 and 9, according to Pruitt. “We’ve had a constant rotation of people,” she said, “and one day we had 800 people pass through here for food, water and clothing.”

Pruitt said she expected the building to serve as a main distribution center through the end of this week. “If we have to go longer than that, we’ll most likely have certain hours where people can come pick up supplies,” she said. “We’ll wait and see how it winds down until the supplies are gone.”

Donations are still being accepted by the JCC Kosher Food Pantry, at 1012 Central Ave. in Woodmere; by the Five Towns Community Center, at 270 Lawrence Ave. in Lawrence; and by the Five Towns Community Chest, at 1004 Central Ave. in Woodmere. Much-needed supplies include toiletries, flashlights, batteries, children’s clothing, toys, diapers, cleaning supplies, paper goods and utensils, kosher food, work boots, socks and underwear.

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