Ramona Business Sending $10,000 Worth of Goods to Sandy Victims

W.T. Kirkman Lanterns is donating almost 300 battery-powered lanterns via the Red Cross.

For the hard-hit New York City area of Breezy Point, a Ramona shop has a message of hope: Let there be light.

W.T. Kirkman Lanterns on Main Street is donating almost 300 battery-powered lanterns for disaster relief to that Queens neighborhood.

“We’re shipping one pallet, which is about 288 lanterns,” owner Woody Kirkman told Patch. “We also went down and got batteries for them so they wouldn’t have to track down batteries. It’s almost about $10,000 worth of value, after shipping costs.”

His business is the only tubular kerosene lantern manufacturer in the United States, according to one of Kirkman’s websites.

Owner Kirkman also says his company is the exclusive importer and distributor for the United States for Gaudard Kosmos Oil Lamps, made in France.

W.T. Kirkman Lanterns is one of many businesses donating necessary items to the relief efforts on the East Coast.

Frank Sledjeski, in-kind donations supervisor for the Red Cross, said 80,000 people near Long Island still lack power from superstorm Sandy.

Sledjeski told Patch that other big-name companies, like Nestle and Black and Decker, have donated water, pallets of tools to help aid the numerous Red Cross shelters that are set up

“Everyone’s stepping up,” Sledjeski said.

Kirkman said his pallet of lanterns will be shipped out Tuesday and should arrive by freight in four or five days.

“They’re going to ship to their coordination point, which is in Jersey City, and then from there they wil go to Breezy Point,” he said. “Breezy Point was hit pretty hard. I don’t think there was one house that wasn’t affected. Water made it in to every house there, I think.”

Kirkman asked Sledjeski, a friend of his, if the Red Cross needed any help, specifically with lighting.

“He’s seen everything firsthand and I asked if it would help if we send something out,” Kirkman said.

Sledjeski, whose office is out of White Plains, NY, said that the Kirkman Lanterns will be evenly distributed among the shelters so that everyone benefits.

“We need a minimum of 100 of the same thing we can distribute properly,” Sledjeski said. “Less than that it’s pretty hard to give away things.”

The Red Cross in-kind donations supervisor said that while offerings are appreciated, things like clothes and used items are not accepted. However, they are looking for large quantities of plastic silverware.

“We need 20,000 of each,” Sledjeski said, referring to forks, knives and spoons.

Monetary donations can also be made via 800-RED-CROSS. If you or your company wants to donate plastic silverware to the relief efforts, you can conact Sledjeski at 941-894-7170 to make arrangements.

W.T. Kirkman Lanterns is offering anyone who wants to donate new blankets or plastic silverware to drop it off at the showroom this week, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. or on the weekend between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. All donations will be shipped out next Monday, Nov. 19, with the help of Unishippers, according to Dawn Kirkman.

In the meantime, East Coasters will be getting a light of hope with Kirkman’s generous donation of the lanterns.

“They’re having a heck of a time getting power established,” Kirkman said. “It’s going to be a while before they get everything back to normal.”

Jane Tanaka MD November 13, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Woody... Thank you for doing this... Its inspiring. Have ordered 22,000 pieces of plastic silverware(1/3 spoons, 1/3 forks , 1/3 knives) and Amazon.com will have it delivered to your business address on Wednesday November 14th. This is from my husband ( Greg Chick, Ramona's Plumber) and from me as an early Thanksgiving donation to the Hurrican Sandy survivors. To other potential donors... this donation is only 1/3 of the plastic silverware needed.. so please dont let this deter you from make a donation for more! Thank you.
Melissa Phy November 13, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Jane and Greg, Your donation is ever-so-generous and appreciated. Thanks for stepping up and helping out. Another example of the generosity of Ramonans! Best, Melissa
Jane Tanaka MD November 13, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Hope this doesnt sound to polly-anna-ish, but we are all interdependent... folks in NY were generous to folks in Ramona and SD when we needed help after the wildfires.
Torry Brean November 13, 2012 at 05:06 AM
This is what makes America great. Nice work Woody!
Woody Kirkman November 13, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Jane and Greg, that is absolutely wonderful, thank you! You correct about being interdependent. In case you haven't seen these yet, the British press has pictures of the devastation left by Sandy that aren't showing up in our own press, take a look: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2225112/Superstorm-Sandy-Death-toll-hits-FIFTY-damage-set-50BILLION.html
Dawn Kirkman November 14, 2012 at 04:15 PM
We will be open this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) from 10am to 2pm for anyone who wants to donate blankets or plastic ware. 2291 Main St, across from Sears (Rotanzi)
Woody Kirkman November 14, 2012 at 08:09 PM
I just received this message from Frank at the Red Cross: Woody thank you for the lanterns. We are swamped with offers, however we are trying to narrow it down to offers like your lanterns. We are in need of 30 pillows, 60 bunk bed flat sheets. food grade plastic gloves 20,000, 2GPS, plastic utensil packs with salt pepper, 10,000; 1 small TV with rabbit ears, coloring books crayons, puzzles. As you know we only use new items. we have small shelters but one large one is 900 people As we get calls for items i will update you until you say uncle. Again thank you and your community for all the relief items you are sending. Frank Sledjeski, In Kind Donations, American Red Cross
Melissa Phy November 14, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Thanks for the update, Woody!
Stephen Daly November 14, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Woody & Dawn, Thanks for getting our Oil Lamps to us so fast. They came in perfect condition. The 4 lamps look & work great keeping us warm and well lighted. My neighbor even thought we had power. Thanks again, Steve Daly. PS Don Neill can't wait to get his four lamps!
Woody Kirkman November 15, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I just received another list of needed items from the Red Cross: Key Padlock for trailers & box trucks = 100 each Metal Trailer seals = 300 each Gaylord Boxes with lids = 100 each Work gloves = 100 pair Convertible Hand Trucks = 5 each Shippling boxes small = 100 each Shipping boxes medium= 200 each Shrink wrap = 25 rolls Portable work desk on wheels = 4 each Shipping tape = 25 rolls Blue painter tape 1" = 10 rolls Blue Painter Tape 2" = 10 rolls Wall Safety Signs = 10 each Traffic Cones large = 50 each Wet floor signs = 10 each Caution Tape = 5 rolls Floor Tape to mark off floor areas and aisels = 10 rolls. Water Hose = 5 each Water Hose reels = 5 each Disinfectant for washing cots = 55 gallons Power Washers = 5 Long handle Scrub Brushes for washing cots = 10 each Short handle scrub brushes for washing cots = 20 each Larg Key Boxes for 250 vehicle keys Contact: L.V. Spencer LOG/WHS/MN DR145-13, HUR Sandy NY American Red Cross - Warehouse 571.918.5499
Dawn Kirkman November 16, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Melissa, The above post has nothing to do with this story. Please remove it if you can. We look forward to all the donations. Please drop them off at 2291 Main St (across from Sears) not at the Antique Mall. Thanks again Ramona !!!
Melissa Phy November 16, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Thanks, Dawn. The spam has been removed. Hope you are receiving many donations to send along to the east coast!
Jane Tanaka MD November 16, 2012 at 05:45 AM
Woody and Dawn--96 pairs of work gloves will be delivered in 3-5 days.


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