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Hopatcong Grad Gives Nearly $10K Worth of Items to Shelter

Krista DiGiesi ships more than 3,000 pounds of items from Florida.

Over the past two weeks, thousands of food, clothing and miscellaneous items have been donated to the Hopatcong High School shelter from people all over the country to help the residents survive Sandy aftermath.

But on Thursday, the school received its largest donation so far; 3,370 pounds of items worth nearly $10,000.

Hopatcong native Krista DiGiesi shipped the items all the way from Florida, with the help of seven of her friends who all contributed to the donations.

DiGiesi, who spent her childhood in the borough before moving to Florida 10 years ago, saw her hometown was in need from Sandy's devastation and got her friends together to chip in.

"I wanted to help out as much as I could," she said. "Those are all my memories growing up. Those are all the people that have impacted me in so many ways, so I just wanted to give back."

The donation included everything from clothing for men, women and children, pet food, toiletries, non-perishable foods, baby clothes and baby bottles.

DiGiesi and her friends bought about 1,400 non-perishable food items. She had one friend who owns a Chanel store who donated brand new Chanel sweatsuits.

One of her friends who has a UPS account and owns a warehouse even offered to ship the $1,800 shipment for free.

"I hope everybody appreciates it," DiGiesi said, "and I hope it puts a smile on everyone's face because during hard times we just all have to come together and really help each other out."

Hopatcong CERT team coordinator Tony Chinea said that although many donations come in everyday, DiGiesi's has been by far the largest.

He said donations have come in from many states including Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. He said Florida is the furthest place items have been shipped so far.

Chinea, who has been at the shelter helping out since day one, said the whole experience has been some thing he's never seen before.

"It's been a learning experience," he said. "It's surprising. The town has come together in a way I thought was never imaginable."

It's these type of community efforts that have made this devastating time that much easier for the residents of Hopatcong.

The Hopatcong teachers have also been at the shelter daily, making several trips each day with donations. They also organized a special Halloween party last week so the kids could get the chance to celebrate after the mayor cancelled the holiday because of the hazardous road conditions.

Neighbors around the borough have also come together by helping each other out daily, whether it's sharing generators, food, or other resources.

Despite the power outages, the increasing cold temperatures and the damage to the town, Sandy has brought the Hopatcong community together like never before.

Resident of Hopatcong November 10, 2012 at 03:26 PM
That is overwhelming. Words can't express how thankful our town is for such a generous donation. Bless you and your friends.
Hnj23 November 10, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Thank you Krista, teachers, and everyone else working hard to keep Hopatcong's spirits up.
Krista DiGiesi November 10, 2012 at 10:02 PM
You are all very welcome! It was the least we could do!
Jerry Sanchez November 10, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Krista DiGiesi for mayor!!!
Koren Böstrom November 10, 2012 at 11:14 PM
What a heart-warming story. These are the moments we should remember...not how many hours we've been without power. It seems to me that our little community actually gained more power these past 13 days than what we've lost. I am proud to live here and call you all neighbors.
Sue Hill November 11, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Another huge donation came in today from Anthony Landolfi - former Hopatcong student. Something to be said about a community that is remembered by so many people who lived there. Thank you to all who have donated and helped out.
Mary Beth November 11, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Dear Krista..... You certainly are an outstanding young lady to have executed such a tremenedous act of kindness to your old home town! $10,000 worth of donations from Florida! Totally amazing and appreciated by those in the shelter. I was fortunate to stay in my home.... I wanted to share a link a friend of mine sent me.... God Bless you. Krista , take care, and god bless you and your 7 friends! ...." "Krista's Angels " x0 Mrs A http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKTgRJPVr1Y&feature=youtu.be
Sharon November 11, 2012 at 11:55 PM
You and your amazing friends are truly angels! Thank you from the bottom of everyone's hearts Bless You all...
Pam Pizarro November 12, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Where are these donations going to be available?

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