Town Center Stop & Shop Becomes Hub for Hurricane Sandy Donations

A truck parked at the Wayland Town Center Stop & Shop through Sunday will carry donations to Breezy Point, N.Y., an area devastated by flood and fire during Hurricane Sandy.

It's been about 10 days since Hurricane Sandy ripped through sections of New York and New Jersey, gashing the landscape and leaving behind wounds that will heal, but with scars.

In Wayland, power lines and trees bore the brunt of Sandy's wrath, but those small inconveniences pale in comparison when the images of locations in Sandy's direct path cross television screens and magazines.

Wayland resident Cynthia Hill on Sunday night watched a segment of "60 Minutes" focused on the section of Queens, N.Y., known as Breezy Point. It's a community that Hill first encountered after 9/11, when Hill and her husband, David, traveled to a fire station in New York to meet some of the firefighters who lost colleagues the day of the attacks. On Sept. 11, 2001, Hill and her husband were traveling from Logan Airport themselves and boarded a plane next to one of the planes used in the attacks.

After that day, and realizing how close they came to being passengers on one of the tragic Sept. 11 flights, Hill created a needlepoint belt for her husband and they traveled to New York where some firefighters added stitches to that belt. Hill also set out to raise money for the children of firefighters who died responding to the attacks. The Hill family's relationships with firefighters there continue to this day.

The devastating losses Hill saw in Breezy Point, a community where many of those N.Y. firefighters from her past live, broke her heart and compelled her to action.

Within 48 hours, Hill and some friends had secured the cooperation of Wayland's local emergency officials and the as-yet-unopened Wayland Town Center Stop & Shop to conduct a massive supply drive that will take place from Friday, Nov. 9 through Sunday, Nov. 11.

"Everybody has said yes," Hill said. "I have done nothing but smile. You don’t get very often in your life times when you can pay back. This is a golden opportunity to pay back.”

Stop & Shop is donating the 40-foot truck, the driver, gas, pallets of bottled water and workers to help pack the donated supplies. What's needed now, are the donations.

Hill solicited a list of needs through a contact at the 100 Duane Street Firehouse, where several of the firefighters who lost homes in Breezy Point work.

They are requesting the following specific items (those marked with an asterisk are especially important). EDITOR'S NOTE: The list of needs has been updated since this original article posted. The bulleted list is still needed, but plenty of clothing has been donated. See our updated list here.

  • Space heaters
  • Hose* (all sizes)
  • Screw guns (cordless)
  • Wheelbarrows*
  • Generators
  • Electric cords* (50-foot & 100-foot lengths)
  • Shovels*
  • Bleach*
  • Contractor bags*
  • Antifreeze
  • Rubber boots (the kind that slip over regular shoes)
  • Work gloves* (M, L and XL)
  • Hooded sweatshirts (L, XL and XXL)
  • Multi-roll packages of toilet paper               
  • Baby wipes
  • Adult diapers
  • Feminine products

Hill is also requesting warm, like-new clothing for men, women and children as well as non-perishable, grab-and-go foods that don't require water to prepare -- items such as granola bars, fruit cups, pre-made tuna salad in sealed pouches, cheese and crackers, Spam and more. Avoid bringing items with nuts or crushable items like chips.

"And let’s not forget the children," Hill added, suggesting items such as jump ropes, board games or hulahoops. "Think of your own children’s most basic needs."

Suzi Robinson a spokeswoman with Stop & Shop said the grocery chain was thrilled to be able to help when approached about the Breezy Point Project.

"We’ve been so appreciative of the response and reception in the town," Robinson said. "There have been folks that are so excited about us opening up. We certainly want to do everything that we can to show the community that we’re there for them."

Donations can be dropped off at the Wayland Stop & Shop from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. beginning Friday, Nov. 9. The final day to drop off items is Sunday. The truck will head to New York on Tuesday.

Contact Cynthia Hill at 508-358-5695 with any questions.

Cynthia Hill November 08, 2012 at 12:20 PM
A million thanks Brooklyn, but one correction, the 100 Duane Street firehouse is in Manhatten and operating at full speed. It's their Chief who put me in touch with the lead folks from FDNY in Breezy Point....some of the Duane St. firefighters have homes and/or family in Breezy.
Brooklyn Lowery November 08, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Got it! Thanks, Cynthia! I'll update above.
Megan Kelley November 09, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Thank you Cynthia! I will pass on to siblings in area. You do so much to help others and make it so easy for others to help as well......you are beautiful....thank you.
laura schindler November 10, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Hi Cynthia, So glad we found you!!! My daughter Melissa has a friend from Staten Island and we sent out a truck load with her last night. I have many more bags that could not fit. We are thrilled you have organized this. Thank you so very much. We did not realize how many generous donations we would receive. I had sent an email out to my company, Century 21 Commonwealth's 17 offices, and Melissa picked it up yesturday. The UHaul truck and Ariana's car was filled. Melissa and Elizabeth are on there way to Wayland now from Natick. We will work on items you have listed above as well. Thank you again, Laura Schindler schindler1489@gmail.com
Cynthia Hill November 11, 2012 at 12:21 PM
A million thanks to you all... I'm delighted to report a 53' truck has been added to our "fleet." Please continue bring your donations until 3pm today. See you there.


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