The region shows it cares

Hurricane Sandy may have battered the shoreline but it hasn't dampened the spirit of charity, upon which so many needy individuals and families rely.

It is especially gratifying to see such an outpouring of support at the launch of holiday food drives and fundraisers in the region, especially when so many people are preoccupied by their own storm-related troubles.

In some cases organizers of these charitable campaigns are reporting record donations.

"It was truly amazing and a lot of people that came out were the same people who could use the help themselves. You're just in awe of what people have done," said Dave Elder, program director at country radio station 97.7 WCTY, which held its 14th annual food drive at the Big Y grocery store in Norwich only days after the superstorm struck Oct. 29. The 36-hour food drive collected more than 37,000 pounds of food, as well as hundreds of coats and blankets, cases of bottled water and $8,000 in cash donations.

In other cases, though, charities have gotten off to a slower start because of the storm.

The Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center in New London, which is supported by a number of drives throughout the region, says donations are down this year and hopes to collect more turkeys and money in time for Thanksgiving. The center reports that its clients have asked for 2,310 turkeys, 500 more than last year.

We urge groups and individuals who support this worthy cause to drop off frozen turkeys, grocery gift certificates or cash. The center, at 374 Broad St., will be accepting donations from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

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