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Fallston Presbyterian collecting supplies for Sandy victims in N.J.

Hurricane Sandy (2012)

The effects of Superstorm Sandy continue to affect millions of people in the northeast, and Fallston Presbyterian Church is staying involved with the relief effort. You are invited to help!

Fallston Presbyterian, located on Route 152, between Watervale and Harford Roads, is sending a team to Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., on Sat., March 23, to deliver supplies for the relief efforts and to scout out possibilities for a mission trip later this year.

The church has a history with disaster relief mission trips. They volunteered to rebuild homes after Hurricane Katrina and last year after tornadoes through Indiana, according to Rev. Kimberly Secrist Ashby, Fallston Presbyterian's pastor.

The church is seeking hand tools and power tools; home improvement store gift cards for building supplies; sports drinks and bottled water; cleaning supplies; eye goggles and masks; disposable paper products, including cups, plates, silverware and napkins; and shampoo, soaps and toiletries. Non-perishable food items are also needed for volunteers staying at the church.

Fallston Presbyterian Church is opening their drive for supplies to the entire community. If you would like to bring donations of any of the above items for transport to New Jersey, members will be on hand at the church to receive those donations during scheduled times listed below:

Monday, March 11, 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 5-7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 13, 5-7 p.m.

Friday, March 15, noon-2 p.m.

Saturday, March 16, 10 a.m.-noon

Monday, March 18, 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 5-7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 20,5-7 p.m.

For those bringing donations, please come to the back of the church and use the entrance furthest from the driveway to bring donations. Fallston Presbyterian has a thriving preschool program, so please be aware that children may be in the parking lot during those times.

According to Secrist, the partnership with Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church was formed through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, a denominational organization through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) which sends teams for initial immediate response following disasters, and puts systems in place for long-term recovery, which includes coordinating mission trips.

Frank Jones of Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church says their church is "deeply involved in recovery efforts," since they are "located in a beachfront community that was 'ground zero' for Hurricane Sandy." They are registered as a Volunteer Village with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and host visiting teams of up to 36 volunteer workers at a time.

Ocean County, N.J., is currently in the process of forming their Long Term Recovery Committee, according to Jones, which will handle case and construction management, as well as volunteer groups, but in the interim, Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church is filling the gap. They are in constant need of the following supplies to help groups coming in and families affected by the storm.

If you have questions, please contact Fallston Presbyterian by phone at 410-879-7729 or by e-mail at fallstonpc@gmail.com or visit their website at http://www.fallstonpc.org. Groups interested in volunteering should contact the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance National Call Center at 866-732-6121 for more information.

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