When Teresa Clayton and Brandy Dorsch of Hancock County heard about the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, they were ready to spring into action to gather some overlooked emergency items to send east - blankets, teddy bears and sweatshirts.
Clayton began Operation Blankets, Bears and Warm Clothing with her daughters, Dorsch and Martha Harbaugh, after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks with the idea that bringing comfort to children affected by the disaster would be a first step toward healing.
"When I heard about people receiving food cans and other items, I wondered what they were doing for the children. As a child you need more comfort, and that's what we wanted to do was give more comfort to these children," Dorsch said. "We collect stuffed animals, blankets, anything to warm the hearts of children affected by disaster."
PREPARING FOR SHIPMENT — Brandy Dorsch, left, and her mother, Teresa Clayton, prepare teddy bears, blankets, and supplies to be taken to New York for those who lost their belongings during Hurricane Sandy. - Contributed
To help with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast, Operation Blankets, Bears and Warm Clothing again is collecting new or gently used stuffed animals, blankets and sweatshirts of all sizes to send to the devastated areas of New York and New Jersey.
Clayton and Dorsch, who also collected items after Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, have traditionally sent items to affected areas. This year, however, the two hope to make the trip to visit the areas in need.
"It would be nice to be able to go and get to know a few people, talk to them and be a shoulder to cry on," Dorsch said. "I'd like to be there to help as much as I can."