Toms River officials and groups begin donation drive for Beaumont, Texas
Toms River administrative officials along with the Police Department, Regional School District and the People's Pantry in the township are "adopting" Beaumont, Texas by setting up a campaign to purchase necessities and aid one of the most devastated areas by Hurricane Harvey this year.
Collectively they've adopted and have begun the "Shore2Help" donation drive where the campaign will collect gift cards for Beaumont families to buy necessities.
You can help too, if you're out and about pick up a gift card for national chains such as Walmart, Lowe's, Target and the Home Depot.
Just be sure to write the dollar amount on the card you pick up.
Then drop them off at Toms River town hall at 33 Washington Street, the Police Department at 255 Oak Avenue, the School District Offices at 1144 Hooper Avenue and The People's Pantry at 1769 Hooper Avenue. Teachers in the school district will also collect gift cards from students and parents.
"As a community, we know all too well the devastation a hurricane can bring long after the storm has passed," Toms River Mayor Tom Kelaher said. "Toms River is an extremely generous community when asked to help others in need. No amount is too small. Let's show Beaumont, Texas that we stand with them as they begin the long road to recovery."
Mayor Kelaher has also been in touch with Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames, to discuss the relief effort.
"Our thoughts are with the people of Texas. So many are struggling during this challenging time as residents are displaced and mountains of debris remain.
"I've made it clear to the Mayor of Beaumont that Toms River is here for them. Let's come together as a town, contribute in any way we can, and show Beaumont that they have Toms River's full support."
Toms River Police have been in touch with Police in Beaumont and asked them to put together a list of their department's families to help them as well.
"We will be personalizing gifts for the families in effort to bring smiles to their faces and hope to them in their time of need." said Chief Little.
"It's a great opportunity for us to pay it forward. During, and after Superstorm Sandy we were very fortunate to have help pouring in from all over to help us through the tough times," Chief Mitch Little said. "Being part of this campaign and adopting a police department like ours to assist in their recovery was a no-brainer for us. The Beaumont Police Department is the perfect fit!"
Pat Donaghue, executive director of The People's Pantry was "heartbroken" to learn what the people of Texas were going through and in her heart wanted to do something to help Beaumont.
"Toms River residents who went through Superstorm Sandy saw what was happening in Texas with Hurricane Harvey and they took it personally. Our community kept asking the same question: How can we help? And that is what we intend to do," Donoghue said.
Superintendent David Healy discussed needs for the schools with Beaumont Superintendent John Frossard to develop a support plan. The gift cards will be sent along with student letters and drawings.
"Toms River Regional Schools- our students, families, teachers, administration, and staff - will not soon forget what life was like during and after Superstorm Sandy, and we are honored and excited to help another district that, unfortunately, finds itself in a similar situation," Healy said.
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