While people took a day off work on Friday to go shopping, Scott Andrews -- a self-employed plumber -- took a rare day off to help the people of Rockaway Beach, New York.
"I felt like lending a hand," Andrews said.
When a friend asked for donations a few weeks ago, Andrews said he and his wife put together a box for the friend to take to New York. When she returned and told Andrews about the devastation, he knew he had to do more.
"When she came back, she gave us an update and she showed us a YouTube video, and I knew I wanted to do something," Andrews said.
He also visited www.RockawayHelp.com where "there's a whole bunch of people asking for help."
So, due to the generosity of Andrews' family and friends (including a school in Walpole and a martial arts studio in Bellingham), he soon found it necessary to rent a 10 foot box truck to handle all of the donations that came pouring in.
"The donations came from all over Norfolk County, and a couple of friends sent a package from Colorado," he said.
Andrews originally planned to help serve dinner to hurricane victims on Thanksgiving (foregoing the holiday with his own family) and then help victims remove debris and gut water-damaged basements; however, his plans changed when the volume of donations was so great that sorting and loading the truck took much longer than anticipated.
Before he knew it, it was Wednesday afternoon and, if he hit the road then, he would be stuck for hours in Thanksgiving traffic and would not make it to the distribution drop-off point which closed at 5 p.m. and would then be closed for Thanksgiving.
Instead, Andrews spent the holiday with his family (including his wife and infant daughter), left for New York early Friday morning, dropped off the truck full of donations at the Brooklyn distribution center, then took a bus back to Boston that night.
"It didn't go as planned but the people at the [distribution] center were very excited and grateful to receive the donations," he said. "It was an exhausting trip but worth every minute."