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ACPD Sends Truck of Donations to Hurricane Victims

by Katie Pyzyk — November 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm 3,288 24 Comments

(Updated at 10:55 a.m. on 11/10/12) For nearly two weeks, stories of devastation have continued pouring out of New York and New Jersey, where Hurricane Sandy struck the worst. Today, members of the Arlington County Police Department did their best to ease the pain of some of the hardest hit victims.

Sgt. Steve Meincke and Det. Colin Dorrity (who is with Metro Transit Police) are both from Toms River, NJ, an area that experienced widespread devastation. Hearing about the hardships their family members and friends are enduring in the surrounding areas prompted Det. Dorrity to ask Sgt. Meincke about sending out an email to the entire department, asking for donations of supplies. The response was overwhelming and in just one week, the effort exceeded Det. Dorrity’s anticipated goal of one carload of supplies. Instead, the haul required a moving truck.

The donations will go to the Keansburg, NJ police department to be distributed to those in need. The department headquarters was demolished in the storm, so officers there are working out of an old building. Det. Dorrity has a friend on that force, who sent a request for help.

“He said, ‘Can you help us out? We have nothing. We’ve been working for the last 10 days, we’re running out of equipment, we’re running out of underwear, we’re running out of socks. We can’t even wash our clothes because we’re never off duty,’” said Det. Dorrity. “If you think about the first responders, in particular, their houses got destroyed but those guys now have been working for 10 days straight without any relief. They can’t even get back to their houses to check on them.”

On top of the existing devastation from Sandy, this week’s Nor’easter left homeless victims facing freezing temperatures and up to a foot of snow while trying to clean up their towns.

“Now that the second storm hit, they’re dealing with the snow issue, and no power,” said ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “We’re just trying to provide some items for these families who are going through a tough time. Items for infants and babies, food, and basically anything that can keep people warm up there.”

There was a big push to get not just warm clothing and food, but also games and toys to keep displaced children occupied while they stay in shelters. Animal food is another item that’s often forgotten but is in high demand. Many people brought their pets to the shelters, but shelters don’t have a supply of foods for pets.

On Wednesday (November 7), Det. Dorrity helped take two trucks of supplies to New Jersey. Those items were donated by members of various law enforcement agencies throughout the D.C. metro area, along with a couple of schools. He said seeing his hometown in such a state was painful.

“It’s really bad up there, it’s really terrible. It’s hard, you know, when I went up the past few days,” he said. “Seeing your home and a National Guard checkpoint in your neighborhood, it’s a little bit surreal.”

More, including photos, after the jump.

Det. Dorrity may end up doing another run of supplies early next week. He plans to take off of work for the rest of November to assist with cleaning up his hometown and with rebuilding houses.

“It’s a long road to rebuild some of these towns from memory, because a lot of stuff is just gone,” he said.

Sgt. Meincke noted that donations of police equipment, such as flares, are also making their way to the Keansburg police. He wishes he were able to offer one of the most needed commodities — gasoline — but it’s not legal to transport through the various tunnels. For now, he said the focus is on keeping the victims warm.

“They don’t have anything. It’s getting cold, winter’s coming up, Thanksgiving’s coming up. They literally lost their entire homes,” Sgt. Meincke said. “The time it takes for FEMA to get there, home insurance, stuff like that it’s just taking forever to get the help they actually need. This is just a small, small dent but at least it helps them out with the basic stuff.”

The moving truck full of ACPD donations left this afternoon, so victims should start receiving the items tonight.

Anyone interested in donating to the Hurricane Sandy relief effort is encouraged to do so through the American Red Cross.

  • DCBuff

    Props to ACPD, the officers/detectives directly involved, and to the other area police departments for all stepping up. Drive safe.

    • CrystalMikey

      +1

  • Josh S

    This oughta cool off the ACPD bashers here for a little while.

    • Westover245

      You sound righteous.

    • Curious

      Yes, anyone who objects to a public service practice is a basher. And yes, we all conflate the police’s activities into the last thing they’ve done. Sassmouth.

      My best friend is from Toms River. Things are not fun up there. And its awesome the ACPD is doing this!

    • tumblebum

      Unquestionably a ploy to ambush county tag violators. Can’t fool us.

    • basher

      Did they reach their quota?

  • SouthArlJD

    Meincke’s actually a decent guy. I’ve had dealings with him. This is a very nice thing they’re doing.

  • QTR

    Wait – I don’t like some policy of the ACPD, so I’m not going to congratulate them on sending the food.

    Oh, wait – I thought it was the Boy Scout thread. Oops…

    • CW

      Ok, that got a laugh.

      I am not a fan of many of the POLICIES of the Department, but this is the work of a bunch of good PEOPLE who are doing this out of their own kindness. Excellent work by them!

  • SpclTeacher

    Are there any other locations for clothes donation for Hurricane Sandy victims? I have 2 huge boxes of winter clothes…

  • BMK

    As a native Long Islander, thank you ACPD! Thank you much.

  • Chris C

    Yes – yorktown high school.

    Dear Faculty, Staff, Parents and Students,

    As some of you may know I am from New Jersey and unfortunately my town was one of the many that was affected by Hurricane Sandy. It is extremely heartbreaking to see the place I grew up washed away by Mother Nature.

    My family and friends are all counting their blessings that no one was physically hurt, but like so many families their homes were damaged and unlivable for quite awhile. Most schools are closed until November 12th at the earliest and neighborhoods are still without power.

    I am currently teaming up with Lowy Movers and Move for Hunger to help donate to local shelters. I will be making two trips to NJ to drop donations off and volunteer with clean up. One will be this weekend and the other will be at the end of November.

    If you would like to donate we will be collecting items in the Leadership Room. Shari Benites’ leadership group, the YHS Lions, will help coordinate with this as well. We will be making announcements as well as posters around the school to help get the word out.

    Things to donate:
    Non-Perishable food (cereal, granola bars, peanut butter, canned food, etc.)
    Baby food
    Ready-to-Eat Meals
    Bottled water, Gatorade
    Pet food
    General clothing items, coats, new underwear, toiletries, diapers, etc..

    Please remind your classes…any amount helps!

    Thank you for you support!
    Caitlin Meseroll
    YHS Health & Phys Ed Teacher

  • NJ thanks you

    I really wish the people commenting on here could take their own advice and check their posts for value add before they click ‘submit.’

  • Chris

    I went to college w/ a Brian Meincke from Toms River. Wonder if there’s a relation. Way to go ACPD!

    • Brian

      Yes, Brian is Steven’s twin brother. How do you know Brian?

  • Internet Investigator

    Wait one second, I was under the understanding that only money should be donated to those in need who were affected by the hurricane and there was no need for food and supplies and those who donate such relief items should be ridiculed. Just want to make sure that is still the case.

    • Mitt Romney

      That standard only applies anyone running for office as a Republican.

  • JimPB

    A minute or two ago saw an item that Doctors Without Borders is setting up in the Sandy Frankenstorm struck area.

    How did the original settlers survive? No electricity. No stores. No real medical care. Few extra clothes garments. Many did die (even more Indians died from diseases that the immigrants (illegal?) brought with them and to which the Indians had no immunity. How well did their bodies adapt to the cold?

  • TRHSN in da house

    I grew up in Toms River and still have friends there, including one who was rescued, along with her family, by boat when their house in Shelter Cove was flooded. I am touched and so incredibly proud. Thank you, ACPD.

  • Mom and Dad Meincke

    We spent the last weekend helping some friends who live on or near the water in Toms River and Long Branch. You can’t imagine the devastation until you see it in person. There is nothing salvagable from the homes, everything needs to be replaced. These people need everything so they can start their lives over again. We are so proud of our son and the ACPD for responding to the needs of all these families. Every little bit of help will go along way to bring these folks back to some normalacy.

  • drax

    Don’t help the homeless! You’ll just encourage them.

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