Police officers from Montclair and the surrounding area are collecting donations this week to help those most affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Starting today and running through Nov. 18, the Montclair Police Department and Police Benevolent Association 53 will set up a collection center in the Clairidge Cinema lobby, at 486 Bloomfield Ave.
Montclair Sgt. David O’Dowd, who is helping organize the effort, said the department is asking residents to donate the following items:
- Household items
- Nonperishable foods
- Hygiene items
- Pet supplies
O’Dowd said Montclair officers are teaming up with the West Caldwell Police Department -- where his brother Shaun serves as a sergeant -- to collect donations. The WCPD recently began its own collection for storm victims at the K-B Toys Store, located at 911 Bloomfield Ave. in West Caldwell.
All of the donations from Montclair and West Caldwell will be brought down to southern New Jersey, said O’Dowd, where the storm inflicted some of the worst damage.
"We got lucky this time,” said O’Dowd. “The storm didn’t do the damage to us that we thought it would and the people that are most affected are down there.”
O’Dowd said he and his brother have an added impetus to help: they went to high school in Brick Township, which suffered extensive damage from the storm.
“We know a lot of people who were affected down there and we want to help them,” said O’Dowd.
While the departments are not sure exactly where the donations will be brought, O'Dowd said they are in communication with the Red Cross and other emergency personnel and will soon know.
“We have a couple places in mind but that could change as the week goes on," said O'Dowd. The most important thing, he added, is to "get it to the place that’s in the most need."
Officers will be stationed at the collection center in Clairidge Cinema during the following times:
- Today, Nov.11, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 18, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.