POINT PLEASANT — We’ve all heard about being our brother’s keeper but what about our sister city?
The City of Point Pleasant, W.Va. is reaching out to Point Pleasant, N.J., which received the wrath of Hurricane Sandy last week, by collecting monetary donations and a truckload of household items for those still struggling to put their lives back together.
This effort has been undertaken by officials with the City of Point Pleasant, Bellemead United Methodist Church, the Mason County Ministerial Association and of course residents who wish to contribute. School children across the county as well as members of 4-H clubs are also being challenged to participate. Also, all banks and credit unions in Point Pleasant are on board and will be accepting monetary donations to help those families affected. There will also be a journal available for those who wish to send messages and comments to families receiving the supplies.
Currently a large tractor trailer is parked at Ohio Valley Bank - this is where donations can be dropped off starting Friday, Nov. 9 through Sunday, Nov. 18 between the hours of 9 a.m. t0 6 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Items will be leaving on Nov. 19.
Donations which are currently needed are personal and household items like paper products, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, toothbrushes, toothpaste, wash cloths, towels, dishes, diapers, silverware, pans, bowels, bleach, new linens, new pillows, etc. There is no need for food or clothing donations - according to officials in Point Pleasant, N.J., those needs are being met by other organizations.
According to City Clerk Amber Tatterson, it could cost around $3,000 to pay for fuel to get the tractor trailer to New Jersey and back. The city is hoping donations will be made from individuals or businesses to help pay for this important delivery.
Mayor Brian Billings spoke to Point Pleasant, N.J. Mayor William G. Schroeder on Thursday about what Point Pleasant, W.Va. wished to do for her sister city. Billings said Schroeder was very grateful for the offer and was anxiously awaiting the truck’s arrival. Schroeder told Billings and Tatterson whatever Point Pleasant, N.J. residents couldn’t use would be distributed to nearby towns also in need of supplies, so nothing would be wasted. Tatterson said Schroeder expressed monetary donations are greatly needed. City officials are going to try to accompany the tractor trailer to New Jersey to personally deliver this gesture of goodwill and make sure it goes where it will do the most good.
Billings said Schroeder was already aware of Point Pleasant, W.Va. and hopes to visit someday. As for why a small community in West Virginia with its own struggles would want to reach out to strangers in another state who happen to live in a town with the same name, Billings said, “I feel certain they would do it for us.”
Billings and Tatterson said resident Darlene Haer was helping spearhead this effort. The city will stay in communication with their counterparts in New Jersey as this humanitarian gesture continues to unfold.
“We’re hoping to fill the trailer,” Billing said, explaining there were many people involved in this effort and it was not about municipalities but communities coming together.
The supplies should arrive just in time for Thanksgiving.
Any further questions, contact Billings or Tatterson at 304-675-2360, Darlene Haer 304-593-5439 or Sharon Stapleton 304-812-7708.