Show of support for struggling city

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“It’s getting organized here, and they’re bringing it up front,” said Piazza. “There’s a diaper section, clothes, flashlights … we’re done with clothes, we have enough. But we’ll be here until we’re not needed. We’re also trying to figure out a way to get some of the clothes that we don’t need and divert it to other places.”

Volunteer and Long Beach resident Stacey Ebert said that donations have been dropped off at a donation center in Freeport and delivered to the ice arena, which began storing donations since last week.

“I live here, all the people that I know and love — and I have a lot of friends — were affected by the hurricane damage, so I wanted to get involved,” she said. “The first few days it was really very overwhelming, and there was wonderful generosity from so many people bringing stuff in.”

Stacey Ebert, a teacher in Famingdale, said that there is a high demand for cleaning supplies, and those donations have come from local residents to corporations.

“If their house is structurally sound, they’re cleaning it out, so mops, buckets and garbage bags [are needed],” she said. “And jackets and coats, hats and scarves because it’s getting cold and the power isn’t back. They need food and baby and pet products. Originally, it started with a lot of personal donations, a lot of clothes and toys … and I think now it’s starting with bigger donations as well. FEMA and the Red Cross have been here the whole time. Some restaurants in Rockville Centre have come to donate food to volunteers and Dunkin’ Donuts was outside this morning. So some of the bigger places are starting to get involved now.”

Ebert said that two Connecticut residents loaded their trucks with donations and came down with everything from food to gas.

“They didn’t even know people from Long Beach. When they pulled up you just wanted to cry,” she said. “They filled cars for the volunteers, making it able for us to come back another day and so we didn’t have to wait in the gas line.”

Ebert said that many volunteers are Long Beach residents.

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