New Castle News

November 8, 2012

Group collects for Sandy victims

Lugene Hudson
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — An area organization is doing its part to deliver hope to Staten Island victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Unity, A Journey of Hope is a nonprofit group that grants wishes to adults 18 and older who have life-limiting illnesses. A Lawrence/Mercer County chapter was established about a year ago.

Now the local organization, along with staff from UPMC/Jameson Cancer Center who volunteer with Unity, is seeking help from the community and spearheading a collection drive.

The facility at 2602 Wilmington Road is the drop-off center for residents to bring cleaning and emergency supplies, clothing, blankets, gloves, socks, towels and washcloths, paper products, toiletries, batteries, flashlights, diapers, pet food and supplies, and non-perishables by 4 p.m. Monday.

Unity, A Journey of Hope was founded by John and Bobbi Robinson of Vanderbilt. John Robinson chose Staten Island because residents there — in the past — have helped with granting wishes and fundraising, said Becky Rainville, registered nurse at the cancer center.

After the items are collected locally, they will be delivered Nov. 16 to Staten Island by John Robinson, said Dr. Steven Wilson, radiation oncologist.

Wilson said volunteers are also making purchases this week to assist with efforts, and added the goal is to get as many items as possible

“You have to ask yourself that if there was a flood in your house, what would you need,?” he pointed out.

Wilson acknowledged that the community always responds well to helping out in times of need.

“It’s great to see people helping others without relying on the government. In a broad sense, it’s people helping their neighbors.”

He also hopes to recruit more volunteers to the Lawrence/Mercer County Chapter of Unity, A Journey of Hope.

“When people submit wishes such as requesting an easy chair, we want to have the money to grant that wish. And we want more members to join the crusade for Unity.”

Jeannie Williams, patient navigator at the cancer care center, pointed out that quite a few people who work at the cancer center and at Jameson Hospital are volunteers with the non-profit organization.

“We have to discuss how to get money to grant money,” Williams said.

Rainville mentioned that the collection effort is a way to give back to people who were affected by the storm.

“People still have a heart,” she explained. “Most people have been through something where they needed help from others and that one thing can make a difference.”

(Email: lhudson@ncnewsonline.com.)