WOODLAND PARK – Help will be on the way from Woodland Park to those in Louisiana who were recently struck by major flooding.
Borough Mayor Keith Kazmark and the Woodland Park Council have teamed up with Anthony Colandro, owner of North Jersey Gun for Hire, and Fernando Rodrigues from TMX Logistics to deliver cases of water to the flood victims in Baton Rouge.
The water bottle collection drive will take place Tuesday Sept. 6 through Friday, Sept. 9, from 4 to 8 p.m., at the West Paterson Boys & Girls Club, 8 Memorial Drive, Woodland Park. TMX Logistics will then transport the water to Louisiana once the drive has concluded.
“We wanted to step up and do what we can for other people,” said Borough Councilman Vincent DeCesare.
DeCesare thought of the idea along with Borough Councilwoman Tracy Kallert. He called an American Red Cross in Louisiana and coordinated the event.
“It’s just a case of water, but in Louisiana it means so much to them right now,” said Kallert.
The water bottle collection drive is one of many initiatives being done throughout the United States to help those who were negatively-impacted by floodwaters that ravaged through southern Louisiana during mid-August.
USA Today reported that the flooding killed 13 people and has damaged tens of thousands of homes and businesses. As a result, thousands of individuals need temporary housing.
The Red Cross reported on its website, www.redcross.org, that as of Aug. 29 more than 2,900 Americans are volunteering to help with the Red Cross’s disaster response effort in Louisiana, including volunteers from all 50 states.
“Without volunteers there is no Red Cross,” said Brad Kieserman, Red Cross vice president of disaster operations and logistics, in an article on the Red Cross site. “If we don’t have volunteers, then we don’t have service, and if we don’t have service then what we have is suffering.”
And in Woodland Park, the mayor and council are looking not only for people to donate cases of water bottles, but also for volunteers to assist with the collection drive.
“We’re looking to collect as much bottled water as we can,” said Kazmark. “We encourage people to make as generous donations as they can to help the good people in Louisiana.”
Individuals can also make cash donations, in which borough officials will go out and buy cases of water with the money received. Borough officials are also accepting large quantities of cases of water from groups such as businesses or organizations. Individuals in other municipalities are welcome to donate to or volunteer with their drive.