Oceanside rallies around fire victims

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Oceanside and the surrounding communities have rallied around the 60 people who lost their homes and possessions in the fire that swept through the D &D Convenience Store and adjoining businesses and apartments on Long Beach Road on April 25.

According to Bob Transom, president of Oceanside Community Service, his group is coordinating with St Anthony’s Outreach and St. Vincent DePaul. St Anthony’s has compiled a list of the families and their needs. There is a need for bedding, blankets and towels, Transom said, which can be dropped at Parish Outreach.

“We have received an overwhelming amount of clothing,” Transom said. “St. Anthony’s has stopped accepting clothes because they have more than they can hold. … Temple Avodah also helped some families with clothes.”

OCS has an account at the First United Methodist Church on Davison Street. Transom said that people should call before they drop off any more clothing donations at either location.

“We’re still in need of fast-food gift cards,” he said, adding that gift cards from pizzerias, drug and grocery stores, Visa or MasterCard, Kohl’s and T.J. Maxx are also acceptable, as well as Metro Cards. They can be given to St Anthony’s Outreach or dropped at any school building this week. 

All cash and check donations should be sent to Oceanside Community Service, 145A Merle Ave., Oceanside, N.Y. 11572, with Fire Relief Fund on the memo line.

“We’ve been distributing these cards through St. Anthony’s Outreach as soon as we get them,” Transom said.

Other community leaders have been active in the relief effort. Michelina Eisendorf and former Oceanside Fire Department Captain Paul Cariello collected necessities and distributed them to the families. “We set up tables at the firehouse [last week] with coats, adult and children’s clothes, linens and blankets and more,” Eisendorf said. “About eight to 10 people showed up. Then we realized more outreach was needed, so we decided to hold an event.”

Eisendorf, Cariello and others have partnered with the Sands Shopping Center, Hose 1 and Joe’s Crab Shack, and will hold a car wash on May 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Further details will be posted on the Oceanside Community Service Facebook page.

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