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Collection in Amherst for New York City victims of Sandy

Members of New York National Guard transfer bottles of water at the 1st Battalion, 69th Regiment Armory, in New York, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. The National Guard and federal emergency management officials will deliver 1 million meals and bottled water to lower Manhattan, parts of Brooklyn and Queens and will include the Rockaways that were hit by flooding and house fires. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Members of New York National Guard transfer bottles of water at the 1st Battalion, 69th Regiment Armory, in New York, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. The National Guard and federal emergency management officials will deliver 1 million meals and bottled water to lower Manhattan, parts of Brooklyn and Queens and will include the Rockaways that were hit by flooding and house fires. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Purchase photo reprints »

A 17-foot truck will be parked at The Common School, 521 South Pleasant St., Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. awaiting donations. Organizers hope the truck will be filled with items people can use immediately.

“Our goal is to stuff that truck, get it down to New York and get back,” said Sydne Didier of Amherst, the lead organizer of the event.

Batteries and flashlights, buckets and mops, candles, blankets, disposable diapers, canned goods and pet food are a few items Didier thinks would be most useful. Any other supplies that might help people get through days without power are also welcome, she said.

Didier said she has been working with New York City council member Elizabeth Crowley to ensure the delivery will be welcome. The truck will be heading to a shopping mall in Queens which is being used as a donation site.

Didier said she was moved to help because she is originally from New York and her mother still lives in the city. While her mother’s home is in a neighborhood that has power, Didier said her mother has seen the damage in areas such as the Lower East Side and Chinatown where power is still out and streets are flooded.

“I was feeling really helpless,” Didier said. “Instead of sitting and being stressed, I decided to make something happen.”

She put messages on Facebook and several parents at the Common School, which her son attends, responded with offers to assist. She said officials at the Common School agreed to have the truck parked in their lot.

Didier said she believes the benefit will have a more immediate impact than making donations of money, though she will be making financial contributions at a later time.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

NEW YORK — Frustration — and in some cases fear — mounted in New York City on Thursday, three days after Superstorm Sandy. Traffic backed up for miles at bridges, large crowds waited impatiently for buses into Manhattan, and tempers flared in gas lines. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city would send bottled water and ready-to-eat meals into the hardest-hit …

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