Local company ‘drives’ to help with Sandy relief

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When their employees witnessed the devastation left in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, one local company was driven – quite literally – to help. On Nov. 11, a driver for Weavertown Environmental hauled a truck loaded with cleanup and relief supplies across the state to the hurricane-ravaged area of West Long Branch, N.J. Now, the company is gathering donations with hopes of shipping supplies to the hard-hit area of Rockaway, N.Y.


“We want to take time to give back for the holiday season,” said Weavertown President and Chief Executive Officer Dawn Fuchs. “A lot of these people still don’t have power or have lost their homes. That personally bothers me. If we can make some small change or make a difference, it’s worth it.”


As a company that cleans up industrial waste, Weavertown knows a little bit about how to fix a mess. While the company usually cleans up sites like steel mills or drilling areas, officials said they’re now gathering cleaning supplies, food, clothing and other relief items to contribute to ongoing efforts to rebuild areas in New York.


Weavertown is accepting donations at its Cecil location at 3866 Millers Run Road, McDonald. Organizers said they are looking for new or gently used fleece blankets, coloring books, crayons and markers, reading books, school supplies such as notebooks, pens, pencils, folders and binders, games and toys, socks and slippers, hats, coats, gloves and scarfs, backpacks or tote bags and small snack packs such as pretzels, crackers or cookies.


Items also can be dropped off at the Carnegie location.


“We are really trying to emphasize collecting things for teenagers this time around,” said Jennifer Prymak, human resources coordinator for Weavertown. “You often think about the kids, but it’s often the teenagers and young adults that get left out. School supplies, blankets, winter clothing, anything you can donate would help. We would love to have some coats.”


Prymak said the company also is taking monetary donations. Checks can be made out to the Red Cross, Salvation Army or to Weavertown Environmental. Those whom donate checks or cash to Weavertown can request a receipt.


Fuchs said Weavertown would match a portion of donations. Donations will be collected through Dec. 11. Offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Fuchs said organizers hoped to place a locked drop box to collect after-hours donations. For more information, call 724-746-4850.


For the New Jersey drive, organizers worked with Lutheran Reformation Church in West Long Branch. Prymak said they are still looking into final destination sites for the goods that will be shipped to Rockaway.


Fuchs said she knew she wanted to do a second drive when the driver returned with stories from the coast.


“It’s unique that we’re also the one transporting and delivering the donations, too,” Fuchs said. “People were so appreciative. That extra piece of clothing to help kids get back to school really means something.”


Although they haven’t planned a third trip for after the mid-December donation run, Prymak said the workers at Weavertown may be up for it.


“Our employees are so great,” Prymak said. “They’ve been very helpful bringing in donations, and they’ll do anything to help. They’re just wonderful people that care. It’s hard to find people like that nowadays.”


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