All Aboard the Newburgh Express! Donations Still Being Accepted for Hard-Hit Red Hook

NEWBURGH, NY - "The Newburgh Express," a combination of grass-roots efforts has partnered with Red Hook Initiatives, a 1,000-member volunteer organization in Red Hook, Brooklyn, to bring much-needed Hurricane Relief donations to Red Hook South High School, where it is then spread out among the residents of Red Hook, Breezy Point, and Staten Island. "We cannot thank the Newburgh Express and the people of Newburgh enough," said Principal Janet Foley, the principal of South Brooklyn Community High School.  "Red Hook, Brooklyn, is one the poorest areas of NYC and has thus gotten very little press or support.  We also have the largest public housing project in NYC, with 6,000 units.  Virtually no one had the resources to evacuate.  We will be among the last to get help and have power restored. Anyone living on the basement or ground floor level in Zone A in Red Hook lost everything. Others are without heat, lights and food and have no place else to go.  People have no power, they are hungry and it's getting dangerous to go out at night.  The Newburgh Express is a god-send."

Cheri Mallia is collecting donations at the River Grill Restaurant in Newburgh, NY.  Mallia and friends organized the Newburgh Express, which has already sent down several truckloads to NYC, first to Queens and Staten Island and on Monday to the Red Hook Initiative, where it will again be re-distributed to the areas hardest hit, all at the grass roots level.  "I have two kids and I saw the photos on the news and felt devastated.  I knew I had to do something, anything."

Juliana LoBiondo, Team Mom for the Newburgh Rowing Club, whose families area also helping out, said " I saw on facebook 3 different Newburgh people.. coordinating donations and I said, Let's coordinate this and call this mega-effort the Newburgh Express, since the truck starts in Newburgh, makes stops at Beacon and the Cold Spring Fire House.. and then goes directly to the people hardest hit.  Newburgh has heart and so does Red Hook.  It's only natural that we would want to go to the place most forgotten about and start there."

"A HEARTY THANK YOU TO THE HARDWORKING FOLKS FROM COLD SPRING WHO DID THE ACTUAL LOADING and **DRIVING** FROM COLD SPRING TO BROOKLYN -- Donations continue to be accepted at the River Grill and Waters Edge, at the Newburgh Waterfront. They're collecting non-perishable food, clothing, cleaning supplies, baby supplies and diapers, warm winter coats, work tools, and the like.  The next truck will be going down next weekend.

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Meanwhile at the Newburgh Waterfront - there was light at the end of the Hurricane. The Newburgh Rowing Club held a post-Hurricane Sandy cleanup at Ward Brothers Memorial Park. Volunteers spent the day pulling out 10 tons of debris, which was hauled to Cutrone Landscaping, where it was disposed of for free.

About 50 people showed up and the cleanup went from 9 am until almost sundown, said Coach Kennedy.  "At the end of the day, I had several really hard working young men with me just hauling the 10 tons of debris out of the trucks," said the Coach, "and I had never met them before.  These were members of the community who showed up because they wanted to help maintain our beautiful Hudson River and the Ward Brothers Park.  We couldn't have done it without everyone pulling together.  Our thanks goes out to everyone."

Press Release edited by Lolita Sage

Photos Provided