Boykins mom helping N.J. storm victims

Published 9:55 am Friday, November 9, 2012

BOYKINS—Hurricane Sandy left the first floor of Lisa Sarno’s coastal New Jersey home under five feet of water.

Her mother, Susan Sweeney, is now looking to Western Tidewater to lend a hand.

The Boykins woman and her husband, James, hope to fill a 12-foot box truck with furniture, household items and more for Sarno and her neighbors before heading north on Nov. 17.

“They really need gloves, hats, scarves, socks, and sweatshirts, sweaters and jackets for bigger men,” Sweeney said.

Furniture is also needed, and Sweeney suggested gift cards.

“The stores there are not like here, and Walmart is too far away,” she said. “VISA cards would be the best option.”

So far, Sweeney has received a washer and dryer, furniture and dishes.

Her daughter appreciates the gesture.

“It’s wonderful how she’s rallying to help us out,” said Sarno, whose home in The Highlands, a commercial fishing town of 5,500 on Sandy Hook Bay across from Manhattan, will be repaired despite having no insurance.

“Most of the people were raised in their homes and don’t have insurance because they don’t have mortgages,” she added, noting her husband grew up in their home.

A Long Island, N.Y., native, Sweeney lived in the same area of New Jersey for 25 years and has been in Boykins for four years.

For now her daughter is staying in Middletown, N.J., with Sweeney’s son, Victor Sarno. As of Wednesday, they remained without power.

Lisa Sarno and her husband, Paul Ritter, also remain without jobs. The bakery where Lisa Sarno worked was wiped out. The storm also has temporarily halted the fishing industry, something her husband’s family has done for generations.

To make a donation, call Sweeney at 899-0262.