Following a highly successful food and supply drive for victims of Superstorm Sandy at the Jersey Shore and Middlesex County, two South Brunswick moms have teamed up again to aid a school badly damaged in the wake of the storm.
Monmouth Junction resident Lisa Rodgers, co-owner of Central Jersey Catering, and LocalChatbox.com owner Suzanne O’Rourke teamed up last month for a collection drive at the Family Karate Super Center on Ridge Road. Over the course of two and a half days, over 150 volunteers of all ages showed up to help collect, categorize, pack and label 900 boxes worth of supplies donated by the South Brunswick community.
Following that outpouring of support, Rodgers and O’Rourke dedicated themselves to further efforts to help those in need. Over the last few weeks, all the schools in South Brunswick participated in a book drive, with help from the school PTO groups and the Education Association of South Brunswick. The drive collected over 3,000 books for The Memorial School in Union Beach, which was devastated by Sandy.
Once again, the drive was aided by GSK Masonary owner Anthony Socio and Al Nardi, who provided a large box truck to deliver the books. The deliver was made earlier this week.
"Talking to locals that have lost their home brought tears to our eyes," O’Rourke said. "We personally handed a few books to a 5-year-old boy, whose mom held back the tears and was so grateful for our small gesture."
The group is also holding a coin drive for the school in addition to other future efforts. If students, parents and teachers would like to continue bringing books in, they are asked to please do so, as the group will be doing another run to Union Beach next week. In addition, Crossroads North Middle School will be, a Pie-a-Teacher fundraiser while other schools are holding drives to raise money for Union Beach.
"It doesn't hit you until you see the devastation and witness it first hand," Rodgers said. "It’s heart-breaking."