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Hunt RE collecting donations for Sandy victims in NJ

— “I contacted my broker — I work out of the Manlius office — and asked if I could use the offices as a drop-off point, and she got back to me and said, ‘Absolutely,’” Jim said. “So I sent out the letter [Friday] and forwarded to all Hunt agents.”

The Sicilianos are looking for the following: blankets, socks, batteries, non-perishable foods, diapers, baby wipes, hygiene supplies, hand sanitizer, handheld can openers, cases of water — “anything that would be good for people without power,” Jim said. In addition, they’re also accepting pet supplies for the many pets who’ve been displaced.

The one thing they don’t want is cash.

“If you want to give cash, donate it to the Salvation Army,” Jim said. “They have shelters down there.”

To donate to the Salvation Army, visit donate.salvationarmyusa.org/disaster. You can also donate cash to the Red Cross at redcross.org.

Jim said he was surprised by how big the initiative has gotten since he started it last week.

“People have really jumped on board,” he said. “It’s getting bigger and bigger.”

He thinks that’s partly due to the efforts of his daughter.

“My daughter, who is excellent with this social networking thing, did a group invite through Facebook and spread the word,” Jim said. “She saw me while she was growing up getting involved and helping people. The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.”

“We take our daily things for granted,” Gabby said. “I just think it’s important to be part of change.”

Jim had initially planned one trip to Monmouth County, for Sunday, Nov. 11. However, considering the proximity of Thanksgiving, and given the response the drive has gotten so far — donations are coming in from as far away as California — he’s decided to add a second trip for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

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