Volunteerism shined brighter than the sun on Foxborough Common Saturday as a local group of volunteers collected donations from the community and delivered them to Hurricane Sandy victims in New York and New Jersey.
The group, Operation Sandy from Mass., was founded by Kris Long and consisted of many Foxborough residents, including members of the Foxboro Jaycees and the Board of Selectmen. Many involved were blown away by the generosity of those who stopped by the Common to make donations.
"Great turnout," said Board of Selectmen chair James DeVellis. "It's great to see all these people come out here and help this cause."
The donations varied from clothing to grills to school supplies. Operation Sandy from Mass. collected those donations and packed them into boxes before loading them into a Supreme Industrial Products, Inc. truck used to deliver the supplies to Hurricane Sandy victims in New York and New Jersey.
The truck, driven by Kris Long's husband Bill, left Foxborough for New York and New Jersey around 1:30 p.m. Kris kept the community informed of the truck's status on Operation Sandy from Mass.'s Facebook page:
After 6 p.m. update - "In NY!"
After 7 p.m. update - "In NJ.....that was a oh &%%@....garmin has us arriving at Operation Jersey Strong at 815....its very dark around here."
After 7 p.m. update - "Statan island on my left.....we can see lights beyond it and right next to us but its like big blk dot."
After 8 p.m. update - "Wow....three weeks later and still unbeleivable visable damage....Allentown NJ."
After 8 p.m. update - "Been in NJ for a bit now..the radio messages are all about relief...so sad my heart is broken for theses poor people.....please keep them in your prayers."
Others commented on the group's Facebook page, calling the community event an overwhelming success.
"Operation Sandy from Mass was an incredible success," Niki Melish Nielsen commented on Operation Sandy from Mass.'s Facebook page. "Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who came out and helped pack stuff up and a big thank you to all of the incredible donors. We filled the whole truck and a pickup with more left over for another trip. Thank you all!"
Others expressed tremendous pride in their community's efforts and generosity.
"Never been prouder to live in Foxborough! Bravo to all," said Kristin Hanbury Todd.
Said Gina Loscalzo: "I was so proud to be part of this team! We all opened our hearts to those in need and accomplished something really great today."
Selectman Lynda Walsh commented on Foxborough Patch Saturday night the volunteer group collected more donations than expected and still had roughly "half a truck" of supplies leftover.
"There is a possibility of another truck going down," Walsh said.
Those affected in New Jersey were deeply touched by Foxborough's efforts and generosity.
"Thank you all for your generosity, it is so wonderful to have you by our side helping Jersey to rebuild and recover," said Megan Gnagey of Operation Jersey Strong. "We truly are Jersey Strong and we are so glad you have our back. Much love and gratitude from Operation Jersey Strong and the many people you will help here."
For more information about Operation Sandy from Mass. and its efforts, click here.