In a gathering today, Lowcountry officials asked area residents to extend a helping hand to victims of Hurricane Sandy through the area’s Charleston Cares: Sandy Relief program.

The program aims to collect supplies and monetary donations to benefit towns and cities devastated by the storm.

Officials from across Charleston County met in front of Piggly Wiggly at the Ashley Landing Shopping Center to announce support for the program.

“We have been hearing from our area residents who ask what they can do to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy on our northeastern coast. They remember the aid we received after Hugo and always want to give back when others are in need,” Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said in a news release. “Those of us here know that the time is now when supplies are going to become critical. No stores are open in areas where power is lacking and emergency supplies are running out.”

A Piggly Wiggly representative kicked off the initiative by presenting check for $2,500 to the Coastal Community Foundation Fund.

Residents are encouraged to donate non-perishable food, diapers, baby wipes, paper towels and bathroom tissue, band-aids, batteries, flashlights, bottled water and juices, soap, hand sanitizer, tools, shovels, work gloves, hand saws, garbage bags, and cleaning supplies.

The program is not collecting clothes, the release said.

Residents are asked to drop off donations at the following locations:

- All City of Charleston Fire Departments

- All City of North Charleston Fire Departments

- All Sullivans Island Fire Departments

- All Isle of Palms Fire Stations

North Charleston:

- Charleston County’s Lonnie Hamilton, III Public Services Building

4045 Bridge View Drive

Mount Pleasant:

- Charleston County’s East Cooper Service Center

1189 Sweetgrass Basket Parkway, Suite 300

Ravenel:

- Charleston County’s St. Paul’s Service Center

5926 Highway 165

Awendaw:

- Awendaw Fire Department Locations

- Station 1

4286 North Highway 17

- Station 2

6384 Maxville Road

- Station 4

10009 North Highway 17

- Station 5

1189 Iron Bridge Road