First of all, Fuel Relief Fund would like to thank all of the donors for their generous support of this response to help those in need in the areas most affected by Hurricane Sandy. Without the generous outpouring of support, none of this would be possible. Each and every individual donation helps tremendously. We also want to thank GlobalGiving and their corporate sponsors for their generous contributions and special considerations in expediting funds for the efforts.
Fuel Relief Fund is a small organization that is making important and immediate differences in victims’ everyday lives.
This organization has been quietly responding to major disasters since Hurricane Katrina. It provided diesel to critical response operations in Haiti after the devastating earthquake there. They passed out kerosene to Japanese survivors for home heating after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. They distributed bags of coal to residents in Van, Turkey last November after the major earthquake in that region.
And now they have responded on-scene at the heart of the wreckage left by Superstorm Sandy. It started on Tuesday, October 30th when the Board of Directors of this non-profit, charitable organization decided response was needed and appropriate. Quickly after that a loaded fuel tanker was dispatched from Pacific Tank Lines in Riverside, California. Ted Honcharik, owner of Pacific Tank Lines and a founding member of the Fuel Relief Fund, jumped on a plane to assess the situation in advance. It took 3 days for the tanker to get to the East Coast (drivers of hazardous materials trucks are restricted in their on-duty time), but once there action began quickly.
On Saturday, November 3rd, the Fuel Relief Fund truck opened near a fire station in Hoboken, NJ. It dispensed free fuel to victims carrying 5 gallon fuel containers during daylight hours. The next day Fuel Relief Fund began dispensing in Staten Island, NY. Monday dispensing occurred in Long Branch, NJ.
In three days, the Fuel Relief Fund distributed gasoline and diesel in 5 gallon increments to over 1700 needy individuals. And they are helping by providing fuel to Red Cross, FEMA, National Guard, and local emergency response vehicles. Then, they needed to drive to Delaware to refill their tanker truck. Then, they returned with fuel and were met with a second tanker truck and more volunteers from Mansfield Oil, headquartered in Gainesville, GA. The fuel was given out in Union Beach, NJ; Rockaway Beach, NY area; Far Rockaway, NY; and the Sea Bright and Toms River, NJ area. The Rockaway, Queens area was the visual focal point for the post-storm impacts.
Bill Lavin, an Elizabeth, New Jersey fire captain assisting Fuel Relief in Hoboken, had this to say about the response efforts taken from an open email he sent the organization, “When you first told me you had a tanker full of "free" fuel to distribute to those in greatest need, I never fully understood the impact you would have. Hoboken, NJ on Saturday (sic) was remarkable to hear the residents express surprise and gratitude that some people would be so thoughtful and generous as to drive across country and provide the most needed resource to them and at no cost.
”I couldn't help but noticing, there was a line for water 20 people long, a line for food 30 people deep, and then looked at the line for fuel which stretched 250 to 300 strong. Validating exactly what you told me, without fuel, not much else can get accomplished.”
There are many more photos, articles, and testimonials that can be found on the Fuel Relief Fund’s website and Facebook page. Thank you, again, for your support of this effort to give relief and help to those most affected by Hurricane Sandy.
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