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PHOTOS: Communities Turn Out to Help Victims of Sandy

Community spirit shines when helping others affected by storm.

Businesses, schools and fire departments in the area held drives to collect items for victims of Superstorm Sandy over the weekend, many reporting that the outpouring of generosity was incredible.

In Comsewogue, Superintendent Joseph Rella said in a statement on the school's website that the community's support was a lesson for the students.

"Thank you to all who came up to the high school today and donated everything imaginable," Rella said. "What an outstanding community we live in! And what an example to our children."

In Mt. Sinai, the fire department held a clothing and food drive for Sandy victims. In a letter written to Patch, firefighter Elliot Perry described the genesis of the idea and how the community came out to support the effort:

The devastation on Long Island is so incredible, that many agencies were looking for donations of blankets, clothing, non-perishable food, toiletries, school supplies, baby supplies, water and other basic necessities of life.

Stefanie Taylor, wife of First Assistant Chief Dave Taylor and Karen Campo wanted to do their share, out of Stefanie's living room. After brainstorming, the drive was held at the Mt. Sinai Fire Department's main house. The word was out through texting and then through the school's hot line, from 9-11 AM on Saturday, 11/3/12.

The donations were to go to the Lindenhurst Fire Dept, where their community was hard hit by Sandy, especially south of Montauk Highway.

The drive went from 9 a.m. to noon. As I saw it, it reminded me of the movie Field of Dreams, "If you build it, they will come!" And come they did, from Mt. Sinai and surrounding communities. Families, children, firemen all helped to load several vehicles, trailers, rescue trucks, and vans. Then the first surprise; Eric Lutz of Miller Place came with his 40' racing trailer and volunteered to fill it to help out.

The Miller Place Fire Department donated its bus to transport the community to it's destination, which ended up to be the West Babylon FD. Lindenhurst was filled to capacity. West Babylon was holding its drive on Sunday, so we just got them started.

The convoy left about 12:30 p.m. with donations still arriving at the firehouse. Once at West Babylon, it was all hands to empty the vehicles. Kudos to the Mt. Sinai community and the Fire Department for its outpouring of good will to help those who are really in need.

Thanks to Stefanie Taylor and Karen Campo for letting a little idea grow and flourish into the undertaking it had become.

Click here for a list of upoming and continuing clothing and food drives to benefit the Long Island victims of Superstorm Sandy.

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