HAVELOCK - Updated:
Superstorm Sandy relief opened the eyes of one Havelock family. The family who went north to help with Sandy relief efforts has returned.
Patty and George Aswad went up north earlier in November with two 26 foot trucks packed full of relief supplies. What they saw in the area around Sheepshead Bay, New York could be described as sobering.
"Just seeing kids walking around with their families wondering where they are going to be," Patty Aswad said.
Thousands of families have been displaced from the superstorm, relief efforts encounter blockades and destruction as it nears the coast. Havelock relief had to drop off at centers set up by authorities.
"Couldn't get into them with the bigger trucks," Aswad said. "They were just letting certain people in."
The Aswad's are from up North, making the destruction from Sandy hit literally close to home. Patty said the destruction they encountered was worse than coverage she had seen on TV.
A Havelock family originally from New York is behind a relief effort to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Patty and George Aswad, owners of Crabby Patty's restaurant in Havelock, are gathering donations to bring up to help the Northeast communities that were devastated in Sandy's path.
The destruction hits home for Patty Aswad, whose father, sister and cousin all lost their homes in the storm's wake.
"It started off as my family had been touched by the storm, and we were going to bring them some supplies," Aswad said. "But as you can see, it's gotten a lot bigger than that, which is OK because there's a lot of people that need it."
The Aswad's restaurant is filled with boxes of donations, including clothes, jackets, blankets and even toys. The family plans to bring the supplies up to New York on Monday in a donated moving truck.
Patty's sister Missy, who lives in Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, extended her thanks to the community during a phone call.
"If you could tell everybody in North Carolina that we love them and thank you so much for everything that they're doing for New York because there's so many people that lost everything. It's very overwhelming that so many people have come together," she said. Missy also added, "thank you so much for everything. We love you from New York."
People who want to help the storm victims can drop off donations at Crabby Patty's restaurant in Havelock through Sunday. Donations are also being accepted at Icehouse Waterfront restaurant in Swansboro.