Those who were hit hardest on Long Island by Superstorm Sandy in October won't go without this holiday season — not if folks in East Hampton have anything to say about it.
Operation Christmas — to gather up Christmas and Hanukkah decorations to the hurricane victims — is underway this weekend in East Hampton.
The initiative to gather Christmas and Hanukkah decorations for the hurricane victims begins on Saturday and continues on Sunday in three locations; the Montauk firehouse, the Amagansett firehouse, and the East Hampton Village barn, in the Ladies Village Improvement Society parking lot.
Donations can be practically anything holiday related — Christmas lights, ornaments, wreaths, garland, tree stands, trees, tinsel, Hanukkah menorahs, stocks, holiday decorations, and table decor. They can be dropped off both days between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Volunteers will deliver donations to areas hit hardest by the hurricane, such as Rockaway and Breezy Point.
Donations should be new or in good working condition, according to Ilissa Loewenstein Meyer, the driving force behind the holiday drive. She said that she has been working with fellow LVIS members, town officials, East End Cares organizers, and Dennis O'Reilly, a Montauk resident who helped organized bringing donations to Breezy Point right after the storm hit.
The idea, Meyer said, started because at the LVIS' Bargain Box thrift store, they were inundated with all types of Christmas decorations. She heard that East End Cares was still bringing donations to Rockaway. "They are not going to have Christmas there unless someone does something," she said. "These people need it more than us." From there, the idea "snowballed."
"Help us bring Christmas to these people," she said to the community, "Even if they can donate one string of lights."
"It could have very easily and simply been us if that storm had been different," she said.
Donations are being accepted on Saturday and Sunday at the Montauk firehouse, the Amagansett firehouse, and the East Hampton Village barn, in the Ladies Village Improvement Society parking lot, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.