Lake Zurich reaches out to Hurricane Sandy victims
New Age Transportation employees help pack a truck Nov. 8 that headed out to the East Coast with supplies for those struggles after Hurricane Sandy. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 15, 2012 9:32AM
LAKE ZURICH — After one of the largest, most destructive storms on record hit a huge swath of the East Coast last month, the Lake Zurich community was quick to step up and help.
New Age Transportation, a Lake Zurich-based distribution and warehousing company, gave residents a chance to help those in need in the areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
“I think everyone wants to help, but you don’t know where to begin,” said Carolyn Gable, president of New Age Transportation.
New Age employees began urging Lake Zurich residents to donate goods to fill an entire truck. Once full, the truck headed to Hoboken, N.J.
Gable said she chose to help those in Hoboken after watching a newscast and saw a Hoboken woman waist-deep in water.
“You just feel so helpless,” she said. “Everything they owned is gone.”
Gable said she reached out to agencies in New Jersey and received a very specific list of goods to be donated. Items on the list included canned and non-perishable foods, flashlights, batteries, diapers, blankets, and baby food and formula.
“All these agencies are just overwhelmed, so anything we can do to help, we’re more than happy to do it,” said Gable.
Lake Zurich Village President Suzanne Branding also was involved in the local relief effort.
“My first call when I heard about this was my police chief and fire chief because they are trained in emergency services,” Branding said.
The Fire Department opened Station 1 on Buesching Road and Station 3 on Old McHenry Road as drop-off points for the donations. Police also opened its station on Mohawk Trail to receive goods. Residents also were able to donate goods at the New Age Transportation facility on Rose Road.
Branding said she first heard about the effort in an email from Gable.
“They felt like I could give this more visibility, and I was glad to,” said Branding. “People seem to be pleased that we’re taking a step and doing something.”
Gable said she also called area stores, including Bed Bath and Beyond and Costco, who agreed to give customers discounts on items they planned on donating to the cause. Gable explained that agencies in Hoboken requested no clothing or used items, and urged donors to stick to the list of requested items.
Blankets and food are what is needed most, Gable reported, explaining that the water crisis that Hoboken residents suffered in the immediate wake of the storm has since been handled.
Gable said she found a similar situation on New York’s Staten Island, and that she hopes to initiate a similar program to aid Staten Island residents struggling after the disaster.
“I’m hoping and praying that it’s going to build momentum,” Gable said. “I think people are always rewarded in ways they never dreamed of when they step up and help.”