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Long Beach residents get much-needed supplies before the holidays

Long Beach residents affected by superstorm Sandy were

Long Beach residents affected by superstorm Sandy were offered free food, supplies and children's toys at St. Mary's of the Isle Roman Catholic Church in Long Beach. (Dec. 21, 2012) (Credit: Kathleen Fordyce)

When superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on Long Island, it flooded the main floor of Tasha Phillips’ Long Beach apartment, ruining just about everything in her living room, kitchen and dining room.

Of course, Phillips is not alone. Long Beach was one of the hardest-hit areas on Long Island, with water damage leaving many residents still struggling to make their homes livable.

But on Friday, just days before Christmas, about 100 superstorm Sandy victims received a helping hand when local organizations came together to distribute free food and supplies to anyone in need.


PHOTOS: LI damage | Then and now | Aerial views
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MORE: Year after Sandy interactive | Complete coverage


Phillips smiled as she left St. Mary's of the Isle Roman Catholic Church in Long Beach with boxes filled with paper plates, cleaning supplies and food, as well as toys for her three boys.

“The donations are such a blessing,” she said. “I have everything I need. These are the things I needed for my family and to complete my holidays.”

The free food and supply distribution was organized by state Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), Long Island Cares and St. Mary’s. Volunteers helped those waiting in line by walking them through the stacks of donations and filling plastic buckets with anything they might need.

“We’re here to distribute a little holiday cheer,” said Skelos, who briefly stopped by the event.

Paul Pachter, executive director of Long Island Cares, said he was glad to finally be able to reach out to the community at large.

“We want to make sure Long Beach is taken care of,” he said. “People are going to need a lot of stuff, and we have many volunteers to help so people can get what they need.”

Like Phillips' house, most of Colleen Popp’s home in the East Rockaways was destroyed by water that ran 4 feet deep. She said that even now, weeks later, her family is finding things they need to replace.

“My son was just doing schoolwork and asked for the stapler,” she said while waiting on line. “Everything in our desk drawers is gone, so that’s another thing I need to get.”

The line extended out the doors of the church and around the corner of East Park Avenue and Monroe Boulevard.

LaToya Gray, 32, of Long Beach, who suffered water damage to her home and was without power for more than a month, waited in line with her 4-year-old son to receive supplies.

“It’s good knowing there are people who want to help us,” she said.

Tags: Long Beach

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