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Boy Scout troop will host drive to help storm victims

DeKALB – A handful of DeKalb-area Boy Scouts plan to spend their Thanksgiving helping superstorm Sandy survivors in New Jersey, but they need your help first.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 33 will collect food, toiletries and other items from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Algus Corp., 200 N. Peace Road, DeKalb. Drop boxes also will be available through Sunday at the DeKalb Police Department, 200 S. Fourth St.; DeKalb Fire Station No. 1, 700 Pine St.; and Sycamore Fire Station No. 1, 535 DeKalb Ave.

“They say the biggest thing they need is baby diapers and formula,” Scoutmaster Cliff Golden said. “Those things go pretty quickly.”

Troop 33 has done similar relief trips during school holiday breaks after Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, but this trip could be a bit difference because of Ocean County, N.J.’s, cooler climate, Golden said.

They may be sleeping at a church or at a nearby Scout camp, but many of the trip details were still being planned Thursday morning.

Eight boys ages 11 to 15 and two adults have committed to the trip.

They’ll pack up a trailer and head out Tuesday evening for Toms River or Brick, N.J., where the boys will help however they can in a donation distribution center or in private homes that have not been infested with mold, Golden said.

Volunteers have to remain flexible to changing needs and plans, as relief efforts are still being organized about 3 weeks after the storm hit, Golden said.

But he hopes they’ll make contacts useful for a return trip next month.

“You’re kind of going into chaos when you do these things,” he said.

Items needed for Saturday’s drive include: winter clothes including coats, gloves and hats; canned food, can openers, nonperishable food like peanut butter, granola bars, cereal and baby food; diapers and wet wipes; baby formula; bottled water; blankets and towels; flashlights and batteries; heavy duty garbage bags; toilet paper and paper towels; cleaning supplies and gloves; face masks; first-aid kits; duct tape and school supplies.

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