~Shared by T. Compton

So many people are still suffering.

Nearly two weeks without power, heat or hot water, some Hurricane Sandy victims are being told electricity may not be restored until Thanksgiving or later still. Others left homeless are struggling to find a speck of normalcy in a world all but turned upside down.

Superstorm Sandy goes down in the books as “the largest Atlantic hurricane on record” and “the second costliest Atlantic hurricane in history, surpassed only by Hurricane Katrina.” That’s according to Wikipedia.

“The devastation is just beyond anything you can imagine,” said one Woodloch caller. Knocked off foundations, homes have been swept a block away. Towns near the coast are covered in sand so much so that it looks like it snowed she said . . . which it did. The Nor’Easter that pelted an already battered area seems to be the straw that is breaking the camel’s back. “It’s freezing,” the caller said.

So many of our Woodloch employees have family and friends who have been affected by this natural disaster. “My brother is in Farmingdale, NY. He had no power from Monday night, October 29, until this past Wednesday, November 7. They are doing okay but still struggling to get gas,” said Melissa Latsch, Woodloch’s Human Resources Generalist and International Staff Coordinator.

“I have many friends and family still without power. I’m heading down to New York this Saturday to help a friend in need. I wanted to get in my truck last week and pick my brother and my niece up and take them away from the chaos,” Melissa said.

It’s difficult to watch the coverage on TV, she said, knowing that so many are still hurting. “I can’t watch the news. I break down every time it’s on; to watch these people without a home or heat makes me tear just writing this. I fear for my family and friends,” she said in an email.

Woodloch has rallied, reaching out to the community for donations for the devastated areas. The drives, which originally started with Christina Acquavella, an employee at Woodloch’s sister property, The Lodge at Woodloch, have been picked up by Melissa and Marketing Director, Rory O`Fee, who have broadcasted the need throughout the resort and local community.

“So far we have collected men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, shoes, coats, formula, mattresses, food (non-perishable), cleaning items, toys, and baby items,” Melissa said.

There have been four distribution drives so far with additional drives planned in the near future. “Woodloch has been generous to allow us to use one of the bakery trucks” for transportation, she said. So far they’ve gone to Rockaway Beach, Breezy Point and Long Island in New York as well as Sea Bright, New Jersey.

Special items are still needed for Hurricane Sandy victims. Donations are being accepted at Woodloch’s Human Resources office. Items most needed include:

  • Cleaning supplies (bleach, mops, buckets, rubber gloves, garbage bags etc.)
  • Flashlights, batteries, and paper products
  • Blankets, winter wear, socks
  • Dog & cat food
  • Items to keep children occupied (coloring books, pens/markers, small games etc.)
  • Baby formula, baby food, diapers, wipes
  • Non-perishable foods, water
  • Personal hygiene items (towels, washcloths, soap, anti-bacterial cleaner, toothbrush/paste, lotions etc.)

    **At this time, clothing is not needed.

In closing, Melissa extends the following sentiment: “A big thank you to everyone at Woodloch and in our community, especially those who have volunteered their time to drive.”

sandy relief