PARKERSBURG - A local resident is working with others throughout the area to fill a bus with cleaning supplies for those hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy.
"We're doing it because we love New York and want to help," said hair stylist David Hornbeck.
The idea to collect cleaning and living supplies for those in Staten Island, N.Y., came from Kristi Casto of Ripley.
"I heard all of the horror stories and thought that it could be us going through something like that," Casto said. "I was already going on this bus trip, so I asked David to help."
Hornbeck will be accepting items people wish to donate at his home and shop at the corner of 31st and Linden streets.
"We are going to take anything that people need," Casto said. "My eye doctor's office donated a case of contact solution, even. That is something I never thought of, but people do need."
Casto has been in contact with the Salvation Army in Staten Island, which is being run out of the director's apartment, to discuss what items people need.
"She said the one thing that everyone there needs is can openers," Casto said. "It surprised me, but it makes sense because a lot of people have electric can openers and without power you can't open a can."
Casto is also asking for toilet paper and other household goods.
"Really, anything that people use at home, we are more than happy to deliver it," she said.
Hornbeck said what people in the Mid-Ohio Valley don't understand is what was on Staten Island is now gone.
"There are no stores left to get what you need," he said.
Casto has enlisted the help of the Silverton Grange, a fraternal organization of farmers, as well as the bus touring company they use.
"David and I have taken several trips a year to New York City together on Spring Valley Charters and when a girl working in their offices heard what we are doing, she decided to help collect things," Casto said.
Hornbeck and Casto do these long weekend tours to New York City several times a year on tours that take two buses and know that the under carriage of the bus is never filled by luggage and purchases.
"On the way over I know we have more than two-thirds of both buses empty and I would love, love to see them full," Casto said. "I know times are hard for everybody, but the thought that we can fill the bus with things people need really excites me."
Those wanting to donate can contact Hornbeck at 304-428-3208 and 304-210-5727.