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Volunteers Help Joplin Victims

Severe tornado destruction in two southern states has sparked a strong volunteer effort in the Bronx.

After twisters wiped out sections of Alabama and Joplin, Missouri over the last two months, people all over the country began to seek ways to help their fellow Americans.

In the Bronx, Patricia Madsen of City Island first led the charge to help Alabama. Not too long after, Missouri was devastated by tornados. Wanting to help as well, Gloria Lagalante of Locust Point began her quest to have fellow Bronxites put together donations to aid those who were ailing in Joplin, Missouri.

“It’s terrible to see these people lose everything and have to suffer like that,” Lagalante said. “After all, we’re all Americans and we need to help each other.”

Lagalante immediately began to make phone calls. Her son Michael contacted Baldor Specialty Foods in Hunts Point, who was more than happy to donate a truck toick up donations from anybody in the borough.

Councilman Jimmy Vacca’s Volunteer Corps soon hopped on board to give a hand with local pick-ups. On Wednesday, June 15, Lagalante joined members of Vacca’s crew, Henry Foreman of Baldor, and other volunteers, to collect a sizable load of donations at the Locust Point Civic Association and Mercy College.

The drive at Mercy College was led by student and fellow Vacca Volunteer Antoinette Acosta, who spread the word around the campus with fliers and also through her Facebook page.

“I’m very happy that it turned out the way it did. We wanted to collect items for people of all ages,” said 20-year-old Acosta. “I have a soft spot for situations like this and people should help without hesitation. I wish I could do more but it’s very hard being all the way here in the Bronx. I feel like we did a good job collecting though.”

Baldor had arranged with a Missouri-based supplier to deliver all of the donations to the devastated area. As for the Locust Point Civic Association, Vacca’s Volunteer Corps, Mercy College, Baldor and even Patricia Madsen in City Island, all plan on collecting more donations for as long as they can.

“It truly has been an inspiration to see so many people come forth and offer to help people halfway across the country,” said Councilman Vacca.

If anybody would like to donate, contact Councilman Vacca’s office at (718) 931-1721.

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