B rooke Burnham moved to West Pawlet in 2005 with her husband Scott, and children Olivia and Owen.
Despite living their entire lives until then in the townships of Point Pleasant, Brick and Manalapan, N.J., Burnham said, “I always felt my heart belonged in Vermont.”
When Superstorm Sandy caused havoc on the East Coast, Burnham said her heart “… just broke for all the families that were affected.” Many of her friends’ homes were destroyed in these New Jersey coastal towns.
A couple of days post-Sandy, and after watching all the news and seeing the magnitude of devastation, Burnham spoke with the Mettawee Community School principal, Brooke DeBonis, and proposed the idea of doing a Superstorm Sandy drop-off at Mettawee. Word spread fast and donations started to pour in.
“I never could have imagined that one day I would have to help my former hometown and surrounding communities in such a situation,” Burnham said.
“My family and I absolutely love living in West Pawlet and being part of an amazing community. But we will never forget where our roots began in New Jersey.”
Burnham and her husband will be delivering the donations to their former hometowns, as well as bring items to distribution centers where families can receive food, clothes, blankets, etc.
“Let us never forget any of these life-changing storms,” said Burnham. “And please remember that wherever there is need in our country that there is a local need too. Local food pantries are in constant need of restocking and local fuel assistance programs need donations as well. Always try to pay it forward as you never know when you will need the help yourself.”