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Storm-Tossed Families Get Warmth from America’s Heartland

No one feels the winter’s chill more than people who, after nearly four months since Sandy, still have no home to call their own.

Blanket Distribution in South Toms River

(L to R): Fern C. Lumpkin, Ron Meelheim, Jeff Meelheim, Ocean County Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, and Maritza I. Raimundi-Petroski , Children’s HOme Society of New Jersey (Denise Wentzler, CHSNJ)

Families crashing with relatives or spending the remaining time that FEMA will allow for hotel rooms are conversant with cold in ways some never dreamed.

Recognizing the situation, The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey secured 4,500 blankets from an online retailer based in Omaha – where they really know about the cold – and distributed them this week in South Toms River.

Ron and Jeff Meelheim, brothers who own Meelheim’s Storage and Transfer, donated the space to store the items sent by Hayneedle, Inc. They say they have a special bond with people in hardship because their own building took on two feet of water during the super storm.

Hayneedle partnered with local retailers to amass the giant collection of covers. The Meelheims plan to keep the temporary space for the blankets until they’re all wrapped around children and their parents and guardians.


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