By ERIN ROLL
Across Montclair this week, donation projects sprang into being as residents asked what they could do to help victims of Harvey — and Irma.
From Sept. 11 to 15, several community groups will be holding a town-wide collection drive of food and supplies to send to Texas. The participating groups include the Montclair public schools, Toni’s Kitchen, the Human Needs Food Pantry and Montclair Emergency Shelter for the Homeless (MESH).
“We received donations from Brother to Brother, Dance on the Lawn, St. Luke’s and lots of individual community members,” Board of Education member Anne Mernin – who is also affiliated with Toni’s Kitchen – said via email on Monday. “In addition, the schools are having a great turnout and we are sending a truck tomorrow to pick up initial donations.”
On Sunday, a group of local children set up a lemonade and cookie stand to raise money for Irma relief.
“Our kids wanted to help after seeing all the Hurricane Irma news coverage on TV,” Marcos Sanchez, the father of some of the children doing the stand, said via social media on Monday. “They came up with a lemonade stand, where they raised $214.25 in two days. That money will be fully donated to hurricane relief.”
RHG Architecture and Design announced that it would be holding “Undies for Everyone,” a drive to collect new, packaged underwear for people affected by Harvey. As of early Monday afternoon, a collection box by the door of RHG’s offices on Church Street was filled with several packages of boxers and briefs.
A number of houses of worship have started holding fundraisers and collection drives. At Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a collection drive had brought in roughly 170 boxes of supplies for hurricane victims as of Wednesday morning. The boxes are scheduled to be picked up from the church this week.
Gelotti’s of Montclair is holding Pints for Prosperity – in which $1 for every pint of ice cream sold during the month of September goes to hurricane relief – and is participating in the United for the Lone Star T-shirt fundraiser, which is being carried out with other businesses. Gelotti’s staff have also been collecting boxes of supplies to send to Texas. “We are sending off four huge boxes of donations this week, the shirts should be in for the weekend, and we are up to 200 pints so far in the first 11 days,” Gelotti’s owner Michael Guerriero reported on Monday.
Harvey made landfall in Texas on Aug. 25, and Irma made landfall in Florida on Saturday, Sept. 2. Both hurricanes have caused massive flooding and property damage, with Houston, Corpus Christi, Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville being among the cities especially hard-hit.