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Naugatuck diaper drive collects thousands of items for young Harvey victims

NAUGATUCK -- A mother and daughter in Naugatuck have teamed up to help some of the youngest victims of Hurricane Harvey. The two organized a diaper drive to send care items to the Texas Diaper Bank in San Antonio.

The donations were collected outside St. Michael’s Episcopal Church over the Labor Day weekend. Donations came in in droves and are now piled high inside the church’s hallways and stairwells.

The donations came in from people from all over the Naugatuck region. Many said they were motivated to give by the devastating images that continue to come out of Texas.

"I can't even imagine that happening here, my heart pours out to them,” Smitty Payne Jr., who dropped of several bags of diapers, said. He went on to say, "I've seen the pets I've seen the kids and that's heartbreaking to actually see that."

The diaper drive was organized by Kim Rossie, the youth director for St. Michael’s, and her mom.

"People have donated formula, diapers, we've gotten breast pumps, we've gotten 10 brand new car seats,” Rossi said about the out pour of support for the drive. Her inspiration to get the drive going came from her mom’s close friend Anna Vitale, from Naugatuck. Viatale’s son, daughter-in-law, two year old grandson, and six week old granddaughter were forced to evacuate from their northwest Houston home during the peak of Harvey’s flooding.

"They got four feet of water in their house,” Vitale said. She explained her son’s family’s journey took them from shelters to friends’ homes, eventually to a family’s house in Ohio.

"My grandson thinks it's an adventure, he's taking it in stride. Kaylee, as an infant, doesn't know any better and my daughter-in-law is just trying to make some sense of normalcy for them,” Vitale said.

Their story reminded Vitale’s friends in Connecticut that simple things such as diapers, toilet paper, and blankets are still in great need in Texas.

"It's heartbreaking, but the outpouring of support, seeing what my girlfriend, her daughter did with this diaper drive has been phenomenal,” Vitale explained.

The donation collection period ended Labor Day at 3p.m. All of the thousands of collected will be loaded onto trucks and driven down to Texas with the help of the Hayne’s Construction company out of Seymour. The trucks are scheduled to leave Tuesday.  Anyone interested in making last minute donations are asked to call (203)-632-0930 to make arrangements.
ons are asked to call (203)-632-0930 to make arrangements.