Superstorm Sandy belongings and livelihood this month, but they will not lose their holiday spirit. At least not if Bloomingdale resident Paul Tulli has anything to do with it.
Tulli, 38, felt the effects of Sandy himself. The large knocked down trees lying on the ground near his Vreeland Avenue home prove it. But with the holidays quickly approaching, Tulli has other Sandy victims on the mind.
The Dumont police officer has decided to gather holiday decorations and other items for those who lost nearly everything with the storm.
"Basically, I'm doing a holiday drive that is consisting of decoration donations, anything from trees, lights, wrapping paper...anything that can be festive," He said.
The items will be donated to residents in Ocean County, where Tulli has already been assisting with relief efforts. He will also be sending some items to Monmouth County and parts of Queens and Staten Island.
Tulli was particularly concerned for the residents of the Barrier Islands, those who have been displaced from their homes and are unable to return for months. Being out of their homes during the holidays could be difficult in itself, but Tulli is hoping to spread some holiday cheer where the shore residents are staying.
"If they're in shelters right now, if they're in hotels, which a ton of them are in hotels, or staying with their extended families, I would like to get decorations and then firsthand deliver that stuff to those families, especially if they have kids," he said.
Additionally, Tulli said he has volunteered to help feed contractors working in Seaside Heights on damaged buildings.
While Tulli has been with the Dumont Police Department for the past 18 years, he also worked for one year, in 1994, as a Seaside Heights police officer. Tulli said he still feels attached to the area.
"I just wanted to help get involved down here. Maybe I could just make a little bit of a difference," he said. "With my occupation, I can get a little more access."
Anyone wishing to donate holiday items or gifts for children can contact Tulli at firstname.lastname@example.org