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Kalamazoo donors help East Coast storm victims recover

by
The skyline of lower Manhattan sits in darkness after a preventive power outage in New York October 29, 2012. Hurricane Sandy could be the biggest storm to hit the United States mainland when it comes ashore on Monday night, bringing strong winds and dangerous flooding to the East Coast from the mid-Atlantic states to New England, forecasters said on Sunday.
The skyline of lower Manhattan sits in darkness after a preventive power outage in New York October 29, 2012. Hurricane Sandy could be the biggest storm to hit the United States mainland when it comes ashore on Monday night, bringing strong winds and dangerous flooding to the East Coast from the mid-Atlantic states to New England, forecasters said on Sunday.

GALESBURG (WKZO) -- A 50-foot semi was set to hit the road Friday, headed out of Kalamazoo.

There's nothing new about that, except this time, it is full of goods donated by Kalamazoo-area residents for those affected by the storms along the East Coast.

Travis Reist tells WKZO the original intent was to fill a 14-foot trailer with donations, then haul it to Staten Island to be distributed to those who need it.

"Next thing we knew the trailer was not big enough," Reist said. "We then decided we needed to take a 26-foot trailer, which went out on Monday, at which point we still had donations coming in."

The total amount of what Reist and his friends collected filled his 50-foot semi, the 14-foot trailer and another friend's 26-foot trailer. They planned to leave Kalamazoo Friday with the massive haul, headed for Staten Island.

The vehicles are filled with things Reist says are that which most people take for granted - "basic needs" items like toiletries, feminine items, blankets and towels, among other things.

As far as how long he will continue to haul donations, Reist said he is not sure.

"We'll see what the future brings. If it brings on another wave, then maybe we'll have to do something about it," he said.

Hear the whole Reist interview from The Lori Moore Show by clicking here.

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