Staten Island relief efforts assist Oklahoma tornado victims

By Ryan Lavis Staten Island Advance

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Volunteer groups on Staten Island, who are all too familiar with the need for aid after a natural disaster, have extended their relief efforts to families affected by the deadly tornado in Moore, Okla.

The Rebuild Staten Island Foundation, The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and members from The Staten Island Community and Interfaith Long-Term Recovery Organization are all organizing ways for Islanders to help out.

Rebuild Staten Island, a community-based volunteer group that provided immediate aid to the victims of Hurricane Sandy on Staten Island, plans on sending supplies that remained in storage since the aftermath of Sandy, according to Fred Forgione of Bay Terrace, who founded the group.

“I experienced the generosity of everyone who donated here after Sandy. This is just a matter of taking what’s left over and giving it back,” he said.

Items such as flashlights, batteries, first-aid kits, and gloves are set to shipped to Moore on Wednesday.

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation also plans on immediately sending much-needed relief supplies to Moore.

“America came to our aid after Hurricane Sandy and it is only right that we help other Americans affected by the tragedy in Moore, Oklahoma,” said chairman Frank Siller.

Tunnel to Towers will initially send two tractor trailers full of relief supplies and set up a temporary relief center in Moore that will be staffed by New York City firefighters who are volunteering.

Retired FDNY Battalion Chief Jack Oehm, who oversees the Tunnel to Towers Hurricane Sandy Relief and Rebuilding effort, said, “We hope the experience we have gained from responding to the Hurricane Sandy disaster will allow us to effectively help and support the victims of the tornado.”

To make donations to the Oklahoma Tornado Relief Fund, please visit .

Forgione suggested that those who want to help can donate gift cards to Journey Church in Norman, Okla.

He said that those who have gift cards from Walmart, Visa, etc. who wish to send them directly, can mail them to: Journey Church, P.O. Box 722764 Norman, OK, 73070. “Please write “From Staten Island, with Love” on your envelope,” he requested via the group’s Facebook page.

People can also donate directly to the Moore We Pay Fund here.

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