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In response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders hosted a collection drive throughout the county to support victims of the natural disaster in Puerto Rico. The drive started on Thursday, October 12 and ran until Friday, October 27.
Burlington County Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio announced today that approximately 5,500 pounds of supplies were donated during the drive. The Freeholder Board asked for donations of unopened first aid items, toiletries, bottled water, nonperishable food, and other critical items most needed in Puerto Rico.
Collection boxes and informational flyers were positioned at the County Administration Building in Mount Holly, the County Human Services, Health, Public Safety, and Library Buildings in Westampton, Cinnaminson Library, Evesham Library, Maple Shade Library, Lumberton Township Municipal Building, and the 8th Legislative District Office in Medford.
“The people of Puerto Rico need our help and our residents responded with overwhelming support. I was in awe to see overflowing collection boxes. These supplies will help save the lives of our fellow citizens,” said Director Garganio. “I cannot thank our community enough for their generosity. I am proud to represent a county who does so much for those who desperately need it.”
The Freeholder Board partnered with the State of New Jersey and its Office of Emergency Management, the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development and the Governor’s Office of Volunteerism for this drive. Yesterday afternoon the County delivered all of the donations to State officials, who will transport them to Puerto Rico.
The Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development is led by Westampton Township Deputy Mayor Abraham Lopez, who has been to Puerto Rico on many occasions.
“As someone who has family who reside on the island, I’ve heard about and seen firsthand the damage Hurricane Maria caused,” said Deputy Mayor Lopez. “I am so appreciative to have worked with the Freeholders on this lifesaving initiative and am proud to be a resident of a county that stands with those who need us most.”
Director Garganio added, “Deputy Mayor Lopez should be commended for all of the hard work he and his office are doing on behalf of those affected by Hurricane Maria. Burlington County works best when we all come together to support and care for one another.”