Approximately 40 Baltimoreans, members of Temple Oheb Shalom, came together to organize a drive for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
A drive will take place today, Monday, and tomorrow from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the synagogue, 7310 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore.
Items the synagogue is collecting: diapers and wipes, powdered baby formula, non-perishable food items, candles, feminine hygiene products, batteries (all sizes), flashlights, disposable utensils, dust masks, brooms, bleach and cleaning supplies, spray bottles, trash bags, work gloves, dog food and treats, cat food and treat, cat litter, blankets and warm clothing.
The Oheb drive comes at the backdrop of many other efforts across Maryland. Twenty-five troopers from the Maryland State Police and four employees from Baltimore City will be heading north to help the states of New Jersey and New York with recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. They will be joining 23 emergency medical providers from various parts of the state that deployed earlier in the week and are providing service in northern New Jersey.
“As we were preparing for Hurricane Sandy, several other states came to Maryland with personnel and equipment to help with water rescues and operating emergency operations centers,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “We are thankful that we are now able to return the favor in states to our north which suffered more damage from Sandy.”
The troopers are being sent to Fort Dix in central New Jersey, where they will be deployed to assist local law enforcement officers, primarily in Monmouth and Ocean counties. The Baltimore City personnel, led by Robert Maloney of the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management and Public Safety, will be assisting staff in the New York State Emergency Operations Center in Albany. They comprise an Incident Management Assist Team (IMAT).
Nationally, the Jewish Federations of North America has seen an incredible outpouring of generosity from the Jewish community, resulting in more than $68,000 so far in online relief donations to the JFNA Hurricane Relief Fund. This is apart from the generosity of donors to individual local Federations, which have also established funds to contribute to the massive relief and recovery efforts necessary in the wake of this disaster.
Amid the horrors are exceptional stories of kindness throughout the Jewish community. JCCs, synagogues and Hillel buildings have opened their doors as places of refuge for both Jews and non-Jews.
Coalitions such as the Jewish Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster will continue to formulate short- and medium-term relief operations, including how to best utilize the growing pool of volunteers who have contacted Federations and agencies to offer their services to help those impacted by the storm.