By ALVIN REINER
---- — ELIZABETHTOWN — About 80 blankets, along with boxes of local apples, were collected and sent to assist in relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy victims in the New York City area.
The blankets were collected through the auspices of the Church of the Good Shepherd, St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church and United Church of Christ in Elizabethtown and the First Congregational Church of Lewis.
The boxes of apples were donated by Champlain Valley Storage of Peru.
“We all wanted to get something in the works to help the people who have been suffering because of the storm,” said the Rev. David Sullivan, pastor of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Elizabethtown.
Sullivan credits Betty Light with “rallying the churches after seeing pictures of the devastation. It was a community effort. The appeal went out, and we collected around 80 blankets.”
Reflecting on her inspiration, Light said that one night she was was watching news on TV “and saw a woman in Staten Island that was getting water and food but commented that she would do anything for blankets for her family. Later, when I was in bed under the warmth of my down comforter, the idea came to see what we could do.
“So I contacted Rev. Sullivan, and the other churches made announcements on Sunday morning to leave the blankets at the Episcopal Church rectory. And before we knew it, we had about 80 blankets.”
Light said she is still getting calls from people who want to donate blankets, “but this was a one-shot deal. It was a small bit, but it really makes you feel good that you can do something.”
Since Light believes that storms like this and Irene may become more commonplace, “it would be nice if the churches could get together and have things ready for when another event happens.”
The blankets and apples were transported to New York City by Andy Bair of B&B Trucking of Peru.
The effort was assisted by Harvest for Hope, a non-governmental agency that regularly distributes food.
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