Posted at: 11/04/2012 8:22 PM
Updated at: 11/05/2012 9:18 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Millions of people are left with nothing but the clothes on their backs after Superstorm Sandy destroyed everything in its path, and now a local woman is taking on a big challenge to help those affected.
On a warm fall day in a Northeast Heights church parking lot, an Albuquerque mother and her two daughters are on a mission from above.
The mission: Filling the semi-trailer truck sitting in the parking lot, then delivering it to storm-ravaged residents on the East Coast.
"It's going to be months and years and they have nothing you know. They just have the clothes they left with," said an emotional Kim De La Porte.
De La Porte says she understands what that’s like because she too has lost everything.
"We were renting a house and kinda started getting sick and found out that the air conditioner vents and swamp cooler were infested with mold,” she said. “So we had to up and leave our house and our belongings."
Friends stepped up and offered her family shelter.
De La Porte said after watching the devastation unfold in New Jersey and New York, “I felt like I knew why God put me and my girls in this situation."
So she’s collecting basic necessities; from winter clothes to soap and deodorant. The items must be new. No food is accepted.
"We want to get as many people from around the community to come and help stuff this truck," said Peter Strascina of Albuquerque.
Strascina’s son, The Voice contestant and Albuquerque native Tony Vincent, lives in Manhattan with his wife and baby girl.
Strascina says the family is okay and didn’t lose power.
"The cell phone demand was so high that we couldn't contact each other and so that made us even more anxious," he said.
The plan isn’t complete. De La Porte doesn’t know exactly where they’ll head or how they’ll pay for gas. But there's one thing she is sure of: New Mexicans will step up.
"I'm so excited," she said.
The “Sandy Relief” truck will be accepted donations daily until Nov. 11.
You can find the truck in the parking lot of Hoffmantown Church on the corner of Ventura Avenue and Academy Road.
Please do not call Hoffmantown Church for information.