Martha’s Vineyarders send clothing, blankets to Sandy victims

Martha’s Vineyarders send clothing, blankets to Sandy victims

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Thanks to the efforts of Nicole Cabot of West Tisbury and many Island volunteers and donors, three loads of coats and blankets for victims of Hurricane Sandy will be delivered to New York and New Jersey, starting on Friday.

Ms. Cabot, whose entire extended family lives in New York and New Jersey, put a simple message on Facebook last week suggesting the coat and blanket donation drive.

“It went viral,” Ms. Cabot told The Times in a phone call Tuesday. “We have a drop box at Cronig’s [down-Island] that I try to empty three times a day. When I stopped by this morning, not only was the box full, but there were also two shopping carts almost filled to the ceiling with coats and blankets.”

Ms. Cabot said many Islanders pitched in to help her. Emily Meegan spread the word and picked up many boxes of donations. Cronig’s Market cashiers bagged up the growing mounds of coats and blankets. Katie Carroll set up a donation box at Chilmark School. West Tisbury School offered to add donations from its clothing drive to Ms. Cabot’s effort. Noni Madison and Dan Sauer, the owners of 7a Foods in West Tisbury, gave Ms. Cabot space in their store to put the many bags of donations. Jeri Dantzig, who serves on the Social Action Committee at the MV Hebrew Center, arranged for volunteers to sort the coats there and organize the donations into three batches on Wednesday afternoon. A group of students who attend the Hebrew School also pitched in.

Ms. Cabot said her uncle, who is a volunteer fireman on Long Island, connected her with the community of Breezy Point in Queens, N.Y., which was especially hard hit with both hurricane damage and a devastating fire that destroyed 111 homes. Laura and Dana Edelman, who recently moved to Martha’s Vineyard from New York where their extended family lives, volunteered to deliver the first load of donations to Breezy Point tomorrow.

David Crawford, West Tisbury School’s system administrator, offered to take the second load of donations today to New Jersey, where his family has ties to the communities on the Jersey shore. Ms. Dantzig is going to deliver the last load of donations to New York City by van.

“This community, like no other, really bands together for anyone in need, time and time again,” Ms. Cabot said. “Whether we know them or not, it doesn’t really matter. That’s one of the reasons I like living on Martha’s Vineyard.”