Germantown woman, Jersey native steps up after Hurricane Sandy -- Gazette.Net


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It’s a Jersey thing.

Barbara Galasso said that watching the damage Hurricane Sandy did to her native New Jersey left her “devastated.”

Galasso, 36, now lives in Germantown, but her heart is still stuck on Jersey. She said she was depressed and in tears after learning from family and friends that many of the places where they had spent their summers had been destroyed.

Her sister told her not to go home she said, because the area looks like a war zone.

But she said she had to do something.

Over the past week, Galasso has been collecting donations for the victims of the hurricane.

Her one-woman operation, which happens most nights from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. outside of La Mexicana restaurant at 13016 Middlebrook Road in Germantown, includes a fold-up table, some boxes and a few signs. (No other establishment nearby would permit her to stand outside their premises, she said.)

Depending on the response she receives, she will continue the drive for another week or two, she said, and then drive the goods up to New Jersey and distribute them through store.onthespotjackson.com/jshn. She has also been promoting the cause through Facebook, she said.

“I’d like to bring a little bit of everything,” she said.

Most people have been giving clothing and canned goods, she said, but she is still looking for batteries, diapers, cleaning supplies, school supplies, new underwear and bottled water, she said.

Galasso said she has high expectations.

“I don’t want to show up with a trunk,” she said. “In New Jersey, we do everything big — big hair, big slices of pizza.”

She wants her drive to be big, too, she said. She is hoping she will be able to fill a truck with supplies to donate to the hurricane’s victims. So far, she has received enough donations to fill her minivan twice over, she said.

“I’m on a mission,” she said. “I have to be part of rebuilding New Jersey. I can’t sit back and do nothing.”

sjbsmith@gazette.net