Local student lends a hand to hurricane Sandy victims

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
East Windsor - posted Thu., Dec. 6, 2012
Alisha Griswold has collected almost 600 items to donate to victims of hurricane Sandy. Photo contributed. - Contributed Photo

In late October, hurricane Sandy became the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, spanning more than 1,000 miles in diameter and causing widespread damage up and down the east coast. The massive hurricane badly affected the tri-state area of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, leaving many people without power for many days, and leaving some without homes.

One East Windsor native started the “Lend A Hand” effort as part of a project for a class at Bay Path College to collect gently-used clothing and blankets to help victims of the hurricane stay warm this winter. Alisha Griswold’s school project quickly turned into something more. Many town organizations and groups jumped on board and helped turn it into a widespread community effort.

“I am always trying to help out,” Griswold said. “I was thinking of doing a toy drive, but I know a lot of towns already do those. After I saw pictures of the devastation, I knew I had to help out. Seeing so many people affected by the hurricane losing their houses and everything really affected me.”

The collection of items started in November and will run until Dec. 21, when Griswold will drive down to New York City to donate all of the collected items. Through the help of her advisor at Bath Path College, Enix Zavala, Griswold connected with the Salvation Army in Hartford, which will help her transport the items to New York. At that point Griswold will be donating the jackets, gloves, hats, scarves, blankets and other gently-used items to the Salvation Army in the city to distribute to the victims in need of assistance. To date, Griswold has collected almost 600 items to be donated.

“It only takes one person to make a difference,” Griswold said. “I have always had that mentality, and I have especially had that mentality during this project.”

Griswold has received support from the people at the East Windsor Park and Recreation office, which is the primary drop-off location for the project. She has also received significant contributions from the high school and senior center.

“It’s been amazing to see so much support from the town,” Griswold said. “I was not expecting this many people to come out and help out, because this time of year is hard for a lot people.”

For more information, contact Griswold at alishagriswold@yahoo.com. Items can be dropped off at the East Windsor Park and Recreation office at 76 S. Main St.

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