A reception center was opened in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy at John Witherspoon Middle School in Princeton, New Jersey by the Princeton Recreation Department.
The reception center was created in the gymnasium of the school and provided warmth, food and drink, television, showers, electricity to charge electronics and a place to sleep for people affected by the hurricane as well as for out-of-state utility workers.
“We’ve had people who would randomly come by and bring brownies or cookies that they had baked because they heard this was going on” says Evan Moorhead, assistant director of the Princeton Recreation Department.
Volunteers at the center estimate that as many as twenty people were spending the night at the center during the busiest period. Food and drink were donated from local businesses and donations were made by local residents as well.
“People who just want to help out others who are a little less fortunate in these circumstances,” said Moorhead.
Volunteer Grace Asagra Stanley, a community nursing specialist, spoke about the diversity of the people who made use of the shelter, including a doctor, an elderly couple with medical needs and single parents.
“It was remarkable that I see families, teenagers here and little ones. I’m not sure of their ages but there were definitely teenagers” says Stanley. “Many people I spoke with are happy that they could… it’s a good thing they have an option.”