Collection drives for Sandy victims continue here in the Capital Region. One concluded Friday at the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. As our Megan Cruz tells us, employees filled a truck to capacity with supplies to help one of their own.
GUILDERLAND, N.Y. -- "I had heard from my parents at 10 p.m. Monday night during the heart of the hurricane, and they had three feet of water in their house. Then I lost contact with them."
Charles Tyree from Corinth said that was the worst night of his life. He and his brother Matt drove home to Long Island Tuesday in search of his mom and dad.
"When we finally got down to Island Park and got to their house and saw them in the front window, words can't describe how joyful I was," he said.
But Tyree says that joy quickly turned into despair.
"My parents and a lot of people down there lost everything - their entire house, everything they've built up, their memories that's been lost," he said.
Almost two weeks now, and the Long Island Power Authority still has 262,000 customers without power. That's why Tyree reached out to his 600 co-workers at the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services for help.
"We just sent the message out to the employees Tuesday and it's only three days later and this is what we have," said Tyree.
"Toiletries and cleaning supplies - that goes over there," said one co-worker as she helped fill the truck.
"Diapers down here, we got some more water coming, underwear and socks - very good!" said others.
"We received hundreds of pairs of socks and hundreds of gloves," said Tyree. "Just the amount of it has been overwhelming."
Now those were all individual donations. On top of that, the DCJS Needy Fund contributed $2,000 to buy even more supplies.
But it's not just Tyree's office that's helping out his hometown. It was also his church, the Burnt Hills School District, and Union College.
"When bad things happen, people come together and it shows a lot about this area," said Tyree. "That they are able to get together this a tremendous amount of goods that's going to help hundreds if not thousands of people in an area that they may not even know them."
So as this Long Islander prepares to go home to help, he says he's glad to call the Capital Region home as well.