The congregation of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Mahoning Township, is continuing to collect items for the people of Long Island, New York, who are still suffering the effects of Hurricane Sandy. The collection will continue until at least Wednesday.

The Rev. Christopher DeForest, said his congregation wanted show their support and are trying to respond as quickly as possible to help this Long Island community which has suffered heavy losses to homes and businesses.

"Often times people want to help and they don't know how," he said. "This is a way families can support others during a time of need."

The Rev. DeForest said the efforts are going through Island Harvest Food Bank, which already helps people who are in dire straits with food and water on a daily basis and they have also have accepted the task of helping people who are suffering because of the hurricane.

"We've gotten donations of items and we've received funds of $250 from the Mahoning Township community," he said. "We receive another $100 that was donated to purchase items. Plus we have a packing group from the church and church council," he said. "We also gotten support from Trinity Lutheran Church and Dinkey Church, which held a special offering during their service and they collected $151. We've also gotten an anonymous donation of $100. We also received a donation from Lehighton Pool Pals."

The Rev. DeForest said that he hopes to get on the road by the weekend to help deliver the items.

"We would like to do more," he said . "We're keeping the collection open until Wednesday."

He noted that he received a call that someone wants to donated four pallets of dog food.

"Island Harvest has not specifically asked for dog food," he said. "But we're hoping to take the dog food, because our pets are important."

He plans to accompany the group who will be delivering the items.

"We're hoping for a large shipment to be delivered by the weekend because the need is so great," he added.

The church is open with day time hours and evening hours to drop off donations. Items may be dropped off at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mahoning, 826 Mahoning Drive West, Lehighton, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. For additional information, call (570) 386-9960.

Island Harvest Food Bank has come up with a specific list of items which are needed.

Items being sought for Hurricane Sandy Relief are: bottled water, canned fruits and vegetables, vitamin water, canned tuna, healthy snack bars, canned chili, boxed crackers, cleaning products and peanut butter. No clothing please.