Woodbridge Area Residents Donate En Masse for Avenel Fire Victims

While the church is in good shape with clothing and toiletries, monetary and gift card donations are still needed.

Woodbridge area residents a massive amount of clothing, toys, food, toiletries, and other necessities in the 48 hours since , leaving dozens of families with little more than the clothes on their backs.

"A few of us came last night and got a whole bunch of stuff sorted and tables set up," said Tanya Papagiannakis at the , where volunteers began sorting through and distributing the donations last night.

"A lot of the households housed two to four children per apartment," noted Papagiannakis, pointing to racks of donated children's clothing and tables packed with stuffed animals and books.  "The community has really thought of everything.  Most of everything, if it's not brand new, is very lightly worn.  It's so amazing."

"It's absolutely amazing what people have given," said Jackie Turnbull, a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Avenel who has helped organize the donation drive, pointing on a six foot high pile of donated clothing in bags that hasn't even been sorted yet.  "Really at this point what we need are gift card and monetary donations."

Gift card and monetary donations can be made at town hall and the Woodbridge Community Center (600 Main Street).

In addition to residents from around the Woodbridge area, local businesses such as 7-11 have also stepped up, donating food, water, and toiletries.

The church has been open to families affected by the fire as of this morning, and will be open tomorrow from 9 AM - 1 PM and 5 PM - 9 PM, as well as Saturday from 9 AM - 1 PM.  Hours of operation on other days next week will be made available as they're determined.  Though the church is on East Woodbridge Avenue, the donation center is located on Kirk Street, behind the church.

The fire, which in the Woodbridge Village complex Tuesday afternoon, .


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