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Locals Lend Helping Hand In Sandy Relief Efforts

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Hurricane Sandy's devastating march along the Jersey Shore has led to an outpouring of donations and support.

Jodi Felton-McDonald, of Hopewell, sent out a call for help on her Facebook page: "Yinzers Help Save The Jersey Shore."

It worked.

Donations poured in to collections sites at the DoubleTree Airport Hotel in Moon and Nail Buffs Salon in Aliquippa.

Five years have passed since Jodi received bone marrow from Bellevue native John Lenio, to aid in her battle against leukemia.

Now, as she sorts through donations at the DoubleTree, she said it's time to "pay it forward."

"So many strangers here in the community came out to offer whatever help they could," she said. "Whether it's cooking meals and sending it to my parents, donating to the blood drive, the spaghetti dinners. So, when this happened, I have people in New Jersey who have been affected, and I thought this is my opportunity to pay back."

Wendy Neilson brought a trunk load of donations from Beaver County. The former breast cancer patient shares a special bond with her former high school classmate.

Wendy said the Sandy relief effort is a chance, "To make a difference. To let these people know that somebody somewhere else cares."

Pittsburgh Fed-Ex Ground will deliver donations to New Jersey, free of charge. Jodi and Wendy will load a van and drive out Thursday morning. They will continue collecting donations through Wednesday.

"Anything you can give," Jodi said. "Even if it's $1, can help these people who have nothing."


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