A Lake Zurich transportation firm is collecting canned food and other nonperishable goods for New Jersey residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.
New Age Transportation is heading the effort. Organizers are seeking food, new blankets, flashlights, batteries, diapers for adults and babies, baby food and baby formula.
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They hope to have a truck filled with donations and on the road Wednesday for delivery Friday.
"All these people, they need our help," said Jenny Talley, New Age's vice president of operations.
Items can be dropped off at New Age Transportation, 1881 Rose Road, and at three other Lake Zurich locations:
• The police station, 200 Mohawk Trail.
• Fire station No. 1, 321 Buesching Road.
• Fire station No. 3, 1075 Old McHenry Road.
The donations will be delivered to Hoboken, N.J., Talley said. A school has been designated as a collection point for such efforts.
The project started late last week as an in-house charitable drive for employees but quickly expanded villagewide, Talley said.
President and CEO Carolyn Gable was inspired to launch the drive after seeing Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer interviewed on TV after the storm hit the East Coast.
"(It's) hard to imagine this is happening 1,200 miles from here," Gable said in an email to her employees. "It looks like a war zone, and we all need to help wherever we can to help."
The company put together a similar aid collection after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005, Talley said.
Purchasing and donating needed products is a more personal experience than writing a check to the American Red Cross, she said.
"When you do it like this, it feels good," she said. "It feels right."
The collection is particularly appropriate as Thanksgiving approaches, Lake Zurich Mayor Suzanne Branding said. A local Rotary club has volunteered to join the effort, Branding said, and other groups and companies are expected to participate.
"This is how we help each other," she said. "This is how it works."
If donations are greater than expected, a second truck will be loaded and sent to Staten Island, N.Y., Talley said. The borough was badly affected by the storm.
"As long as donations are coming in, we will continue to send trucks out to all the towns (that) need our help," Talley said.