Red Hook Nonprofit To Close Hurricane Sandy Distribution Center

By Nikhita Venugopal on April 3, 2013 11:37am 

RED HOOK — Signaling, perhaps, a calm after the storm, local nonprofit Friends of Firefighters will shutter their Hurricane Sandy distribution center at the end of the month.

The center, which will close on April 27, opened soon after Hurricane Sandy surged through the city and has served retired and active FDNY families who have been affected by the storm.

Housed in an old department store in Glendale, Queens, the center is filled with rows of donated items like toiletries, clothes, water cases and shovels, among others.

“The needs have changed since then,” said Meghan Zichelli, operations manager of Friends of Firefighters.

The nonprofit received donated items from across the country and handed them out to firefighter families, sometimes through personalized packages.

In the last month of the distribution center, the Red Hook nonprofit will open its doors to all FDNY employees and service members who have been affected by the storm.

But the organization will still assist FDNY families at almost every stage of recovery and help them get back on their feet, said Zichelli.

Friends of Firefighters has housed labor crews from over 20 states since Sandy hit the city. These crews, along with local volunteers coordinated by the group, have assisted in recovering storm-affected firefighter homes through installing sheetrock on damaged walls.

They will also continue services like peer support groups, yoga and counseling.

To receive goods at the distribution center, call 718-643-0980 to register with Friends of Firefighters.

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