TOMS RIVER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — One local woman is trying to do what she can this holiday to help families hit hard by the effects of Superstorm Sandy.
Elle Aichle, of Toms River, New Jersey started a Facebook page, called “Hurricane Sandy Thanksgiving Adopt A Family For Dinner.”
Aichle is matching displaced families with others who have room at their Thanksgiving tables for a few more guests.
Aichle told 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon the response has been overwhelming.
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“I had maybe 40 [families] and now I have about 500. I’ve been inundated with such generous offers from families in New York, in New Jersey, in Maryland, in Delaware — even in Portland, Oregon,” she said.
Aichle said the offers are not just from families offering a place to eat Thanksgiving dinner, but for transportation, since many of the hurricane victims also lost their cars.
She said there is no shortage of families looking to help. What she could use some help with is finding displaced families who would benefit.
“At this point, I’m trying to get the word out to the shelters,” Aichle said.
She said many of the emergency shelters and temporary homes don’t have listed phone numbers and some of the victims don’t have access to the Internet, but she hopes that volunteers and workers going to the shelters — or anyone who knows families who would benefit — will spread the word.
Aichle said she is keeping everyone’s name private and using a spreadsheet to match up the families.
One of the pieces of information she is asking for is the age of any children, so that they can be matched with a family with children close in age so they might have someone to talk to.
“I think the kids have it really hard,” she said.
Aichle said she would like to locate displaced families who could benefit, and she is asking that they email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and if they don’t have access to email they can call her at 732-330-3886.
Find out much more from the “Hurricane Sandy Thanksgiving Adopt a Family for Dinner” Facebook page