Donations flow as McCandless man collects truckload of supplies for Sandy victims
Residents of Monmouth County, N.J., might wish to toast bartender Matt Imhof of McCandless.
Imhof needed a box truck to carry all the clothes, canned goods, blankets, cleaning supplies and other donations he collected for people affected by Superstorm Sandy.
“I was following the storm coming,” he said. “When I woke up and saw what was done to the place where I grew up and called home for nearly 30 years, it hit me right in the gut.
“A $10 donation to the Red Cross just didn't feel like I was doing my part,” Imhof said.
Imhof then put together a flyer and set out to gather goods, including food, paper products and toiletries for needy storm victims.
“Over the last three years, I've had a lot of people help me through a lot of things, and I looked at it as a way of paying back,” Imhof said. “That's how it got started.”
Imhof expected to deliver the fruits of his largesse on Nov. 17 to multiple sites in northern New Jersey, including a food bank in Red Bank and a fire department in Sea Bright. Imhof also expected to distribute goods through the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce.
“The donation sites keep changing,” he said.
Imhof needed a U-Haul cargo van to haul all the goods he collected.
A Bronx, N.Y., native, Imhof, 41, grew up in New Monmouth, N.J., and moved to north suburban Pittsburgh about a dozen years ago. Members of his extended family still live in northern New Jersey.
A single dad, Imhof is a self-employed personal trainer who tends bar, waits on tables and trains servers at the Olive Garden in Cranberry. Imhof also works part time as a sales associate at Elite Runners & Walkers in Robinson Township.
His two sons, Noah, 8, and Josh, 9, attend Hance Elementary School in Richland and Eden Hall Upper Elementary School in Pine.
The boys' teachers – Julie Dayton of Eden Hall Upper Elementary School and Kerry Schurman of Hance Elementary School — and Imhof's fiancée — Suzanna Krispli, director of Hampton Community Library — helped to gather everything from blankets and buckets to toothpaste and toilet paper, plus, canned goods, clothes and cash.
Imhof picked up untold boxes of donations at his sons' schools, plus, the Hampton Community and Northern Tier Regional libraries.
“The response was overwhelming,” said Krispli of Hampton Community Library. “A lot of people wanted to help.”
Teacher Bob Tucek of Hampton learned about the project and sought help from his sixth- , seventh- and eighth-graders at St. Edmund's Academy in Squirrel Hill.
“We talked to all the kids in their homerooms, and sent an email out to parents,” Tucek said. “Whenever there's a disaster, we try to help.”
Last week, Tucek delivered about 25 bags of donated blankets, sweatshirts, jackets, toiletries and diapers from St. Edmund's Academy to Hampton Community Library.
Imhof then picked up the goods and transported them to his Presidential Arms apartment complex in McCandless.
“I'm tired. That's van load No. 5,” Imhof said one morning last week after filling up his Dodge minivan.
“Peoples' goodwill has been overwhelming.”
Kevin Smith, owner of Elite Runners & Walkers, and Imhof's employer, rented the U-Haul cargo van that Imhof ultimately packed with donations and drove to New Jersey.
“It started out very simple. I figured I'd get a couple boxes of things,” Imhof said. “The next thing you know — goodwill just started to pour in — more than I ever fathomed.”
Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Charges advance for men accused in police scuffle at Fort Ligonier Days
- Sting highlights demand for Pappy Van Winkle bourbon
- Penguins finally break through, defeat Devils at Prudential Center
- Hempfield man receives long-overdue Bronze Star for World War II service
- McCallister’s 14 points lead Steel Valley past Thomas Jefferson
- Longtime Greensburg District Judge Albert will seek fifth term
- Rooney says Pittsburgh is ‘good place’ for next northern Super Bowl
- Arnold man’s molestation conviction upheld
- New CEO eager to revitalize Pittsburgh International Airport
- Fatal shooting over food puts Indiana County man in prison
- UPMC researcher who died of cyanide poisoning committed suicide