Camden shipping company coordinating donations for Hurricane Sandy relief

Posted:  
Monday, November 5, 2012 - 3:45pm
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Heath Commeau, manager of Global Packing and Shipping Camden, makes a donation for Hurricane Sandy relief Monday. (Photo by Holly S. Edwards)

Story Location:
25 Washington Street
Camden  Maine  04843
United States

CAMDEN — In September 2005, Sarah Pratt left Rockland bound for Baker, La., to deliver donated goods to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Jump forward seven years and a month and the owner of Global Packing & Shipping is again collecting donations bound for victims of another natural disaster — Hurricane Sandy.

Pratt announced on Facebook Nov. 5 that she is collecting donations at her downtown Camden business to be distributed to the New York and New Jersey areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy on the evening of Oct. 29.

Students finally headed back to school today, albeit sans heat, and many trains and buses were running again, but lines at stops were long and public transportation units were packed, causing long waits for available seats, according to reports. Heaped on top of the commuting headache a week after the storm were reports of persistent gas shortages, caused not by a lack of fuel but a lack of power to run pumps.

"I have reached out to the Red Cross and the ASPCA down there, and I have a connection with a social worker down there as well," said Pratt Monday. "If we can collect enough by tomorrow, we will ship a box down ahead of the next storm."

These familiar issues prompted Pratt to action again. But this time around, she said, recalling all the clothes that were donated for victims of Katrina, she said she is being more specific of what they are looking for to send down in aid.

"They don't need clothes," said Pratt. "What they need now is non-perishable food, water, blankets, gloves and work gloves, trash bags, batteries and flash lights."

Pratt said to think of normal, everyday items, including diapers for babies and feminine supplies, those are the kinds of things she is hearing are most in need.

"And cash, if people donate cash we'll make sure it will be used to buy the things needed the most," said Pratt.

On the receiving end, Pratt said she is coordinating with a business similar to hers, where she will ship the donated goods for local distribution by volunteers. GPS is a member of Neighborhood Postal Center, a trade association for shipping businesses.

But a trip south is not out of the question, she said. And this time, she is hopeful she won't be chased back north by another hurricane like she was seven years ago when Rita came close on the heels of Katrina.

"Over the next few weeks we'll collect donations and ship them out, but if I get enough to warrant it, I'll drive a truck like after Katrina," said Pratt.

GPS is located at 25 Washington St., between Elm (Route 1) and Mechanic streets.

Editorial Director Holly S. Edwards can be reached by email at hollyedwards@penbaypilot.com or by calling 207-706-6655.