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Wheaton Woman Leading Sandy Recovery Drive

Soley Somma plans to drive a truckload of donations to New York City Tuesday morning to help victims of superstorm Sandy.

Wheaton resident Soley Somma has strong connections to New York City. It's where she met her husband, and it's where her brother now lives.

And on Tuesday, Somma and her mother will be driving to the city with a truckload of donations for the people left cold, hungry and powerless in the wake of superstorm Sandy.

Somma began collecting food and other emergency items on Friday at her home, and word spread quickly. She and other volunteers worked from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, sorting through items and labeling them.

"Every single room in my house is filled," she said.

Somma is coordinating with Queens Mama, a neighborhood network for parents in New York, and she will be delivering supplies to Rockaway, Queens, a peninsula particularly hard-hit by the storm.

Do you want to help? You can drop off items any time today (Monday) before 9 p.m., and tomorrow (Tuesday) between 6-9 a.m. at 2617 Parker Avenue, Wheaton, Md. See below for a list of suggested items.

Any donations that come after she leaves Tuesday morning will be sent to , or included in a subsequent run to New York City.

Somma plans on doing multiple runs because she knows that complete recovery from Sandy's devastating effects will take time.

"We'll continue to do this," she said. "It's an ongoing effort."

What can you contribute?

Somma said the following items are particularly needed:

  • diapers
  • wipes
  • formula
  • cleaning supplies
  • batteries
  • warm jackets
  • blankets

They have enough canned food, but are looking for more ready-to-eat meals for people who do not have the electricity to prepare food in a kitchen. Other suggested foods include fresh fruit and bread.

For those who want to drop off prepared meals, Tuesday morning would be the best time, Somma said. She added that her mother has a food-handling license, and she said that if people would like their coolers back, she will try to return them if they write a label with their name and address.

Want updates from Somma? Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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