Being thousands of miles away in Afghanistan didn't deter two New Jersey soldiers from showing support to neighbors affected by super storm Sandy.

ARMS volunteers sort through donations. (ARMS)

This week, a box arrived at the American Recreational Military Services (ARMS) headquarters at the Toms River Armory postmarked from Camp Eggers in the Middle Eastern country. What was inside was a nice surprise to those collecting goods for displaced shore area residents.


Usually, care packages leave from the building on Whitesville Road en route overseas - They don't usually receive one. That is, until now. Thomas Morris of Brick and Anthony Allotta of Bloomfield included a short, handwritten letter in the box which contained socks, soap, hand wipes, hand warmers, non-perishable foods and other things. According to Ronnie Micciulla, ARMS executive director, it was the first time a care package came from the soldiers back home.

Micciulla says, "This is what it is all about, things going full circle."

A garage at the National Guard armory in Toms River is filled with donated clothes, food and toilet paper. The community daily has been dropping off items since Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore according to Micciulla.

Besides hundreds of local donations, trucks have arrived from South Carolina, Missouri, Michigan and Oregon delivering everything from disposable diapers to bedding.

The out pouring of support for the military has been wonderful according to Micciulla, but she currently sees a greater need for gift cards.

In the letter sent from the National Guard Servicemen, they said, "if you need anything else, let us know." Micciulla adds they have sent them an e-mail saying thanks and are waiting for a response.

Volunteers assist displaced service member families in getting items they lost in the storm daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Uniformed service members in need can stop by the ARMS facility at 1200 Whitesville Road which will be open through the end of the year.