Ellabell man helps with Staten Island Sandy cleanup - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Ellabell man coordinating efforts to help in Staten Island

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Tom Genzlinger Tom Genzlinger

Tom Genzlinger hasn't been back to Staten Island in seven years, but his thoughts have not left his hometown for the last week. And now he'd like to send a lot more there.

Genzlinger, who lives in Ellabell now, has begun an effort to collect tools, building supplies and anything that can help people start to clean out and rebuild their homes in the hardest hit areas of Staten Island.

Many homes were destroyed by superstorm Sandy, especially in the island's beach communities, but some can be saved. So, it is Genzlinger's hope to deliver these materials as quickly as possible and he even has people on the ground in Staten Island lined up to help him do that.

"I'm looking to get shovels, saws, picks, hammers, anything people might need,'' said Genzlinger. "If I can get hand tools and things like, I'll put them onboard a truck and get them up to New York.''

The Staten Island native says the key to his plan is having supplies delivered directly to homeowners.

"We're trying to get them in the hands of the most needy people, and basically, there are thousands of needy people out there,'' he said. "I have a network of probably two dozen people who are organizing grassroots campaigns. I have their addresses, I have their phone numbers and I will get a way to get everything to them up there.''

Genzlinger will be collecting materials from 6 to 10 p.m. Monday at the Bacon Park tennis courts. He will continue to receive items until he has a concrete way to deliver them.

He has tentative arrangements to transport the items he collects, but is also interesting in hearing from anyone who could provide a truck for immediate delivery.

The best way to contact Genzlinger is through his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/tom.genzlinger.

Genzlinger is also working with a group in Staten Island that is using donations to purchase gift cards to stores such as Home Depot and Lowe's.

Anyone interested in donating can go to http://www.giveforward.com/saveourshowssandyrelief.

Also, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation is accepting donations through http://tunneltotowersfoundation.com/. They are using money they collect to provide bottled water and other personal items to storm victims and relief workers. To donate $10 via that program, send a text message to 80888 and type the word RESTORE in the body of the text. You will receive a confirmation request and will have to answer "yes'' to complete the transaction.

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