WEST PARIS — After watching countless reports of the devastation in New York and New Jersey caused by Superstorm Sandy in late October, Lisa Eichel of West Paris decided she had to do something.
Eichel, who is employed at Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, organized the People That Care relief drive. With the help of family, friends, businesses and total strangers, organizers said the drive turned out to be a big success in less than three weeks.
After a few weeks of getting the word out, donations were received and loaded into a 53-foot-long tractor-trailer on Dec. 8 and 9 at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. The fully loaded trailer was transported to the Salvation Army and Red Cross in New Jersey to aid the hurricane victims.
Eric Dashiell, owner of Dashiell Transportation in Hampden, donated his truck, fuel and time to make the trip possible.
“I really appreciate all that helped,' Eichel said in a prepared statement. "I am so happy and proud at what we accomplished in such a short amount of time.”
Dozens of people and organizations helped in the effort. Maine Trailer of Bangor donated the trailer, Pepsi Beverages Co. of Auburn donated the banner, Park Street Press of South Paris printed fliers that went to all the local schools and high school Principal Ted Moccia gave permission to park the truck in the parking lot. Many others also helped make the drive a success, she said.