“Train of Hope” volunteers needed

Hoboken Volunteers and “Train of Hope”

Volunteers Needed to Help “Train of Hope” Complete its Mission.

Hurricanes have the power to turn streets into rivers and rip trees from their roots, but no force is strong enough to uproot the bonds of humanity.

Under the reign of Superstorm Sandy, memories of residents and communities affected by Hurricane Katrina were reawakened with a grim reality, but inspired a stirring purpose. Although time and space separates the devastation between both storms, two prominent community members in Slidell, Louisiana joined forces to bridge the gap between storm survivors.

Kim Bergeron, Slidell director of cultural affairs, and Donna O’Daniels, St. Tammany Tourist and Convention Commission president and chief executive officer, created a “Train of Hope” that will deliver donations to victims of Sandy via an Amtrak passenger train that links Sidell to New Jersey. For more information on the founders and train’s mission, please visit the website at www.trainofhope.net.

Train of Hope Volunteers Details

  • 30 volunteers are needed on Saturday to travel to Newark to meet the Train of Hope to pick up the donated supplies.
  • Volunteers will meet at 38 Jackson Street at 10:30 AM. A bus will take us to Newark to load donations on trucks. Then we head to distribution center in Bayonne then back to Hoboken. (We should be back by 5 pm.)
  • RSVP on Hoboken Volunteers’s Facebook page.
  • Volunteers must bring a photo ID.

For more information, please contact Tim Occhipinti at timothy.occhipinti@gmail.com.

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Thank you to Kim, Donna and Tania and the wonderful people of Louisiana for their great heart. This magnificent relief operation was put together in one week, including the Amtrack sponsorship, even t-shirts that read “Louisiana is Jersey Strong.” Once the train reached NJ, every box was directed to an organization that needed it. Since Hoboken has received so much, a big part of this donation went to Bayonne, NJ where officials received it with open arms and much gratitude. My respect goes to Heather who was the original Hoboken contact, Tim Occhipinti who coordinated everything on the NJ end, Hoboken Volunteers, Beth Mason who donated the U-Haul truck rental and everyone who helped on Saturday. It was an honor working with you on this project. One of the most moving things I found was a letter, a copy of which was attached to every pallet from Joan Archer, who described herself as “an ordinary person in an extraordinary town” (Slidell, LA). She narrated her experience as a Katrina survivor and assured us that we were not forgotten and her hope that “this thread of connection brings you some meausre of comfort in this most difficult of times.”