Camp Take Notice plans on heading to New Jersey to help with hurricane clean-up
Those who were part of the camp still hold weekly meetings, said Sheri Wander, a volunteer and board member of the non-profit group aligned with Camp Take Notice.
At a recent meeting, the group expressed interest in helping out those affected by the devastating storm that recently hit the East Coast. Now, they are trying to make it a reality, Wander said.
With the help of their traditional support group of churches and donations from individuals, former campers, some of whom have been placed in housing and others who haven't, will load into cars and vans and head to New Jersey, Wander said. Some of the vehicles will be those of volunteers, but the organization may rent a few mini-vans with the money they are raising.
Wander said they hope to get 20 members of the Camp Take Notice organization to the areas affected by the storm. In order to accomplish this — and buy things like rakes, shovels and brooms to help in the clean-up and tents to sleep in — they will need to raise a few thousand dollars, she said. The group continues to try and raise money.
Organizers are saying having former campers help out is a perfect fit.
“Houseless individuals may not have many financial or physical resources to help with the relief efforts, but what we do have is the time, the willingness and the skills," Caleb Poirier, one of the founders of Camp Take Notice, said in a news release.
Once in New Jersey, Camp Take Notice will work directly with Brick Hurricane Recovery Program, a small grassroots organization set up in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, according to the release.
Their goal is “to assist our families of Brick County and the surrounding communities throughout their recovery and restoration as a result of Hurricane Sandy," Theresa Millerschoen, co-coordinator of the Brick Hurricane Relief program, said in the release.
The camp organization does not want to be a burden on an already ravaged area, however, Wander said. They will be staying at a tent city similar in nature to Camp Take Notice, which was evicted by the Michigan Department of Transportation from a wooded area near Wagner Road west of Ann Arbor in June.
The tent city is eight miles from the coast and is as of yet unnamed. Members of that tent city will join Camp Take Notice with their relief efforts, organizers said.
Even after the eviction, Wander said that "the spirit of the community is still strong" among Camp Take Notice.