Arizona group sending desperately needed supplies to Sandy victims

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- People are still cleaning up after super-storm Sandy, and Arizona continues to help the Northeast.  A local non-profit organization is using a unique transport system to get supplies back East.

So far Sandy is blamed for 110 deaths in the U.S., 48 of those in New York. Officials in that state said Sunday that 730,000 people are still without power.  New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said between 30,000 and 40,000 need housing.

With those numbers in mind, Arizona-based AERObridge is helping to get emergency supplies to the East Coast by hitching rides for those supplies on corporate jets.

"What we do is set up the logistic chain," said Alan Staats of AERObridge, a non-profit started in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 

AERObridge finds business planes that will donate extra space on flights already headed into disaster affected areas.  Emergency supplies are then packed onto those planes and taken to the disaster area where everything is distributed to those who need it most. It works by getting lots of people, groups and companies on the same page.

"There's this cold northeastern storm blowing in on Wednesday," said Ken Casey, president of the Arizona Business Aviation Association, which is working with AERObridge.  "People are going to need blankets, they're going to need supplies especially if they're without heat, so we said, 'why not.'"

AERObridge has already organized 40 flights to the East Coast and has another leaving from the Phoenix area on Wednesday.  The charity would still like donations of warm clothes, blankets, shoes, mittens, etc. 

People can drop off donations by Tuesday evening at Cutter Aviation (2802 E. Old Tower Road at Sky Harbor International Airport) or Pinnacle Aviation (14988 N. 78th Way #106 at Scottsdale Municipal Airport).

If you prefer to make a monetary contribution, you can do that by donating to the reputable organizations listed below. Like with any donation, we encourage you to do your due diligence to ensure your generosity is getting to those in need. 

American Red Cross - Donate Now
Local Red Cross organization up and down the eastern seaboard are providing shelter to thousands of people across nine states.

The Salvation Army - Donate Now to storm relief
The Salvation Army long before the storm hit began feeding operations at shelters along the East Coast. Dozens of mobile feeding units, canteens, able to serve thousands of meals, are stocked are ready to deploy into the most heavily impacted areas once it is safe to do so. For more updates from The Salvation Army click here.