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VOAD Organizing Relief Efforts

Volunteers, school supplies, and non-perishable food items needed.

Rev. Karyn Ratcliffe saw what was happening with flood victims throughout Wayne this week and knew something more had to be done to help them.

Ratcliffe, who is the pastor of Packanack Community Church, met with Assemblyman Scott Rumana and other people in town on Saturday formed the Wayne Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).

VOADs exist on the national, state, county and local level. They are non-governmental organizations that coordinator volunteer efforts between various community organizations during times of crisis.

Ratcliffe said the severity of the flooding due to Hurricane Irene prompted her to respond by talking to residents who wanted to help more.

“In past years when Wayne has experienced flooding, it is the same routine, people expect it. It’s the same homes, the township responds, the residents recover and they get on with their lives,” Ratcliffe said. “What I experienced this time, due to the geographic extent of the flood, is that this event is beyond our community’s ability to recover from it. We don’t have the ability to clean up everything in a timely manner.”

People who have never been flooded during a storm were flooded during what a lot of people are calling a flood worse than the one that occurred in 1984. The amount of water people who normally do flood was greater than in previous incidents. More people lost more possessions and have to deal with a more extensive clean-up process.

Ratcliffe said VOAD has already been on the front lines of the recovery efforts. They have helped people on Ryerson Avenue, one of the hardest hit areas in town, clean out their houses, some with 3 or 4 inches of water still in them.

Ratcliffe has already used VOAD to coordinate volunteer and clean up efforts throughout the town.

The Wayne Civic Center has been established as a staging area for the collection and distribution of supplies. More than 200 clean up kits were distributed to people in need. The Strawberry Blossom on Route 23 transported the kits to Ryerson Avenue residents.

Needed supplies

VOAD needs people to donate school supplies for students, especially those attending Ryerson Elementary School. The following supplies are needed: composition notebooks, pens, pencils, folders, 24-count boxes of crayons, thin and thick markers, pencil sharpeners, colored pencils, glue sticks, highlighters, scissors, large book socks, rulers, sticky notes, and backpacks.

Cleaning supplies, including buckets, face masks, sponges, mopes, brooms, and garbage bags are needed. Sports drinks, juice boxes and bottled water are also needed. Toothbrushes and toothpaste are also needed.

The following non-perishable food items are also needed: water bottles, cereal, pasta, coffee, tea, tuna, cooking oil, peanut butter, jelly, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, soup, school snacks and drinks, flavored rice packages and canned beans and vegetables.

Laundry detergent and shampoo are also needed.

VOAD is arranging for meals to be provided from tomorrow until Sept. 11 at Fire Company 2. Cleaning supplies and non-perishable food will also be available there. Volunteers are needed to staff the building, organize the donations, distribute meals and supplies and deliver supplies to neighborhoods.

Items can be dropped off at the Wayne Civic Center between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. or at Fire Company 2.

Gift cards can be dropped off at either the municipal building or at Packanack Community Church between 9:30 a.m. until noon beginning Tuesday. Town hall and the church office will be closed Monday for Labor Day.

Individuals who would like to make a financial donation should make a check payable to The Wayne Interfaith Netowrk, an interfaith organization that operates a food pantry at Radcliff’s church. Checks should be mailed to: WIN, care of The Packanack Community Church, 120 Lake Drive East.

The Wayne YMCA is also allowing residents who do not have hot water available to use their showers between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday and between 5:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday.

ElleMichelle September 05, 2011 at 02:51 PM
Again this is a terrific organization!! The Ryerson area residents have been acknowledged..and that acknowledgement has come from the PEOPLE, not from government! Kudos to you Yesenia and Jeanette.
Kel September 05, 2011 at 06:35 PM
People may not know where the Wayne Civic Center is. It is located at 1006 Hamburg Tpke , Wayne , NJ 07470 | 973-872-9236 near the Church Lane traffic light. It is located in the old Preakness School and houses the administrative offices for the Wayne Adult School, as well as a gymnasium. Hopefully, there will be many donations!
k. brechner September 06, 2011 at 01:02 AM
I know of a gentleman who would like to do some volunteer work. Who should he contact to ask about time, shifts, location in support of the Wayne VOAD effort? Thank you.
Gratitude September 06, 2011 at 01:25 AM
pastorkaryn@mac.com
Karyn Ratcliffe September 06, 2011 at 01:56 AM
Please have him go to the Civic Center between 8am and 8pm and offer to volunteer.
Vincent Indelicato September 06, 2011 at 02:33 AM
I lost my car to the flood. If anyone knows of a car being sold very inexpensively. ($500) please let me know. I can be reached at 973 818 9000 Cant get around cant get to work. Lost alot in the flood. Thank God for the volunteers from the Salvation Army.
Karyn Ratcliffe September 06, 2011 at 02:47 AM
Dan, what Yesenia says is true. The quote refers to the house that I helped clean out in Pequannock on Wednesday night before the Wayne VOAD was established. Yesenia has been on the fronts lines and deserves a lot of credit.
yesenia September 06, 2011 at 02:51 AM
Daniel, my name is Yesenia Pucheta and allow to begin with saying that Wayne Patch ONCE AGAIN has provided false information to the readers!! I am extremely upset with the false fact you stated "Ratcliffe said VOAD has already been on the front lines of the recovery efforts. They have helped people on Ryerson Avenue, one of the hardest hit areas in town, clean out their houses, some with 3 or 4 inches of water still in them" The VOAD did not help at all when it came to the Ryerson residents! The VOAD was not even established when the picture that you posted was taken, that was my family and I working to help our residents since there was no help provided (but I am sure you were informed of that) since August 30th!
yesenia September 06, 2011 at 02:52 AM
Jeanette and I have taken so much of our time and effort to put all this together in order to give the flood victims peace of mind! We are not here to take any credit like I said when you called me yesterday about the other artical that was also incorrect however, it is very upsetting that the VOAD is being acknowledge for something they did not do! The VOAD was established once it was noticed by everyone else in Wayne that if a group of commited individuals can make this happen so can a rich town known as Wayne can do it. Today, again was a success on Ryerson Ave, we distributed tons of cleaning supplies and served over 400 hundred meals and even gave out over 70 book bags with school supplies directly handed to the children! We barely asked the civic center for any help, we have been doing this for our community on our own since Hurricane Irene hit us and we will continue to do so!! I will also state this as a comment and foward it to Pastor Karyn! Please call me asap to discuss this matter as it is very upsetting. Today we were on News 12 and News 5 with the real facts!!!
Gratitude September 06, 2011 at 03:05 AM
I am so glad that VOAD was established. Once people saw what the Township Of Pompton Plains had in place, they saw that it could and should be put into place. People like Pastor Karyn, Yesenia, and Jeannette are what make our township of Wayne so special. This flood affected so many areas of Wayne. I think it is so important for all of us to work together.Thank you to all of the residents for stepping up to the plate.

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