Peabody Firefighter Hauls Donated Goods Direct to Hurricane Victims
Peabody firefighter Dave Limongiello is driving down to New York City Saturday with his pickup truck and trailer hitch full of relief supplies for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Bright and early Saturday morning, David Limongiello will pack a few last things into his Ford pickup truck and 20-foot trailer, and he and a couple buddies will drive down to New York City to make a special delivery.
The Peabody firefighter has been collecting everything from diapers to bottles of water to help out and bring some relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey.
Limongiello said he just wanted to do something to help, and the best way to do that now is by meeting material needs of people who have lost everything in the super storm -- much of the hardest hit areas are still without power and many residents are living in temporary shelters.
"I posted on Facebook and it just exploded from there," he said. Friends, and friends of friends, immediately started sharing the call for donations and within days, he already had half a trailer's worth of donated goods
He said some have given cash and checks and he'd use that money to buy more supplies at the Dollar Store.
Limongiello will be hauling about 2,000 pounds worth of clothes, non-perishable food, basic items and cleaning supplies direct to the New York City Firefighter Brotherhood Foundation, a nonprofit that provides aid to NY firefighters, police officers, EMS personnel and their families.
Limongiello said he was working the day of the storm -- he was one of the first firefighters at the scene of the fatal rollover on Route 1 -- and then a couple days later he just posted a message on his personal Facebook page to see what support he could muster together.
"It started like a big chain reaction," he said, still somewhat astounded by the "overwhelming" support from people he graduated from high school with, people he used to work with -- everyone wanting to pitch in and help and quickly spreading the word online.
"This has all come together this week," Limongiello said, adding that he's actually only been picking up donations for three days and his trailer is half full.
Friday afternoon while loading up bags of clothing that were dropped off by customers at Gaeta's Shell gas station on Route 1, Pam DiBello walked over from the office with $100 in hand (for gas) and a hug for Limongiello.
"I'm a mom with kids. I'm happy to be doing this," she said.
The Gaetas were among the network of friends and colleagues who rallied to the cause. Matt Gaeta said regular customers saw the sign they posted and came back with bags of clothes and other supplies.
Limongiello had a couple more pickups to make that day and he expected to fill both the trailer and his pickup.
Limongiello said that with power still out and many victims filling up the hotels and motels, he'd just make the drive down (about five to six hours to reach the area of Queens he's headed to) and probably find a place to take a short nap before heading back home.