Rotarians are pitching in to help communities in New York and New Jersey recover in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The Rotary Districts in the Tri-State Area have come together, and have created a single staging area to help in recovery. The work continues! Go to for continuing updates of the situation, a list of the items most needed, and where to send tax-deductible checks.

District Governor Bonnie Sirower from New Jersey writes on Dec 29: 


We had almost 100 trucks from all over the country and Canada deliver supplies that were shared by seven districts. You were all so generous! We collected around $400,000 that is being split among the six most- affected districts in New York and New Jersey. Hundreds of displaced families had a merrier Christmas with your help. Now we are into the rebuilding phase, and we know we can count on our fellow Rotarians for their help in that long process.



In District 7490, our South Bergen Rotary Club ran a very successful Sandy’s Santa program in which more than 100 families were adopted by Rotarians, Interact clubs and just plain kind citizens. The office where Sandy Santa’s was staged was chock full of bags of toys, clothing, new bikes, dolls, stocking stuffers etc., all waiting to be delivered by Rotarians over the past weekend.

In District 7640, In Ocean City, all the retailers are open again, although there are still families displaced. Ventnor and Margate are still very bad. Brigantine is still being worked on. Bayside and Reed’s Beach are still very bad. Governor Christie’s office has been in touch and is providing some supplies. They are trying to keep non-perishable food on hand for the 200 families or so that have been displaced. A group is making sure that everyone has a Christmas. They are putting together a committee to decide how the foundation will spend the monies donated. Atlantic City Rotary Club is getting ready to apply for a grant to rebuild the homes that people lost, including cleaning, new dry wall, and painting. No volunteers are needed as yet.

Many people in Staten Island (District 7230) are still homeless and have no power or heat yet. Several organizations in addition to Rotary are working together to restore that area.

Everyday Supplies are still needed in District 7500 (Ocean/Monmouth/BurlingtonCounties.) Their supply center will be open for at least 1-1.2 years. District 7250 (Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau County, NY at Belle Harbor, Long Island also continues to need supplies. In both of these areas, there are still many people displaced from their homes, and power and heat have not yet been restored to everyone. .

Here are supplies still needed:

  • Baby Food, formula and diapers
  • Non-perishable food
  • Bottled water
  • Toiletries
  • Generators for some areas
  • New clothes, especially mittens, scarves, warm jackets for all ages
  • New beds, cots, linens and pillows
  • Cleaning supplies*
  • Batteries, flashlights
  • Non-fabric furniture (no sofas or upholstered chairs
  • § Gift cards to Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target universal gift cards. This is recommended as a project for Interact and Rotoract Clubs who wish to help. Send gift cards to Calisto Bertin, address below.

BUILDING SUPPLIES NEEDED: NEW! Hammers, Sheetrock, Plywood, Sheetrock nails, Tape & Spackle

Here is where you can send them:

District 7500 – Monmouth and Ocean Counties, NJ

Center for Vocational Rehabilitation
15 Meridian Road
Eatontown, NJ 07724
Contact Person: Russell Anderson 908-461-9018
Rotary Liaison: DG Joan Vas 732-241-3947

District 7250- Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties
Belle Harbor Yacht Club and the Rockaway Rotary Club
533 Beach 126 Street
Belle Harbor, New York 11694
Contact People: Nancy Hanson 917-225-1099
Rotary Liaison: DG Mario Moran 516-729-8164

And, please send cash or gift cards to the Rotary District 7490 Walter D. Head
Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, c/o Calisto Bertin, Bertin Engineering, 66 Glen Avenue, Glen Rock, NJ 07452, USA.

Donations of Cash

The Walter D. Head Foundation of District 7490 has already received more than $300,000 in donations to date and expects more. Approximately $4,000 in donations was made online. $13,000 has already been spent on generators and gift cards. Donations from outside each of the collaborating districts will be shared equally among all six districts affected. Please send donations and gift cards to: Rotary District 7490 Walter D. Head Foundation, c/o Calisto Bertin, Bertin Engineering, 66 Glen Avenue, Glen Rock, and NJ 07452). Gift cards and cash donations from outside each participating district will be shared equally among them. Thank you to the hundreds of Rotary Clubs, Rotary Districts and individuals who have helped us through this crisis.

Rebuilding and Next Steps

Some of the affected Districts have now turned their efforts to re-construction, although some of the Districts are not yet ready for this step.

District 7490 has already started to work together with Rebuilding Together Bergen to repair two firehouses in Moonachie for our first project. The town has already replaced the HVAC systems in one of the buildings and will also be replacing the systems in the second building. (The fire company has done the demolition in both buildings already. Electrical work has already been completed. Sear’s has donated materials for the building. We need volunteers who can provide skilled labor: masons, carpenters, ceramic tile, plumbers in early January, 2013.

Scope of work: Both buildings have similar scopes of work: they need metal furring, cement board, drywall, ceramic tile, painting, toilet rooms, minimal ceiling work. One of the buildings has a kitchen and bar area to rebuild and install cabinets, which increases both the plumbing and carpentry work. The other building has a depressed concrete floor area that they would like to have taken out and replaced.

If you want to contribute either building supplies or offer skilled labor, please contact or call 201-218-0473.
Volunteers: District 7490 is holding avolunteer party on Wednesday, January 9, 2013, beginning at 6:30 pm at Seasons in Washington Township. We hope to honor both Rotarians and non-Rotarians among the 250+ who have volunteered for this effort, and to introduce the non-Rotarians to Rotary and what we do, perhaps allowing us to get some more members for our Districts.

Thank you to everyone – for your prayers, your volunteer efforts, your cash donations and gift cards, your donations of food, supplies, clothing, generators, etc. This is what Rotary is all about – caring for one another.