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(HAMILTON) — Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo on Wednesday urged people to take time to contribute to a Hamilton man’s effort to aid Haitian earthquake victims.

DeAngelo (D-Hamilton) praised the effort of Joseph D. Wright, who took it upon himself to rent a 40-foot shipping container to collect food to send to a Haitian orphanage — the Reformation Hope Orphanage.

DeAngelo said Wright has for nearly three weeks been standing in the parking lot of Harry’s Army & Navy Store in Hamilton holding signs asking people to contribute dry goods, rice and canned goods. Wright and other volunteers have collected 27,000 pounds of food and hope to collect 17,000 more by Tuesday to fill the shipping container. Once filled, the container will sail from Port Newark New Jersey on Feb. 17 and arrive in Haiti in about a week.

“I am amazed by the commitment of Mr. Wright and the other volunteers,” DeAngelo said. “Their generosity is a prime example of the best Mercer County has to offer and is truly an example to us all. The fact that they’ve already collected 27,000 pounds of food is astonishing, and I just ask everyone to help them meet their goal of filling that container. Most people can contribute with the canned goods, pasta, boxes of rice and soup that are already in their pantry.”

DeAngelo noted that Harry’s Army & Navy hasn’t asked for anything to keep the container in their parking lot, and that the First Haitian Trenton Church has offered to help with supplies they collected and shipping costs.

Haiti’s government has raised the death toll for the Jan. 12 earthquake to 230,000 and says more bodies remain uncounted.

“This is an unspeakable tragedy that gets worse and worse by the day, but people like Mr. Wright and his helpers are rising to the occasion and doing their best,” DeAngelo said. “We should do all we can to lend a hand, so I only ask people to swing by and contribute to this effort.”

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