Schoharie County

Schoharie flood recovery group aims to ‘Make a Difference’

The organization working to rebuild the Schoharie Valley is in the running for a $10,000 prize that

The organization working to rebuild the Schoharie Valley is in the running for a $10,000 prize that would go toward more post-flood rebuilding.

But Schoharie Area Long Term will need some help Saturday — National Make a Difference Day — to show people in and around the Capital Region can really make a difference.

The post-Irene rebuilding is one of thousands of projects listed on the website for Make A Difference Day. Operating for more than 20 years, the effort is sponsored by USA Weekend magazine and Points of Light, a worldwide nonprofit volunteer organization.

The program is supported by Newman’s Own, which provides $10,000 donations to 10 different charities involved in each year’s volunteer blitz.

SALT director Sarah Goodrich said another $10,000 would go a long way toward helping the organization reach its goal of $250,000 in donations. Local investment firm Fenimore Asset Management has pledged to match donations up to $250,000, and SALT has reached roughly $140,000 toward its goal.

Formed after Tropical Storm Irene devastated the valley, SALT is calling on volunteers and skilled contractors to lend a hand Saturday and get a taste of what people like Jami Hudson and his team have been doing for weeks.

Hudson, 26, a team leader for the Americorps National Civilian Community Corps, spent the past year with his team of eight people working to rebuild a charter school in Baltimore, then working on a loading dock receiving donated goods for the needy. He and the team then went to Connecticut to help a YMCA camp rebuild trails wiped out by last year’s disastrous weather before working with a Habitat for Humanity in Delaware.

They arrived in Schoharie Sept. 12, when they began one of the tougher parts of post-flood recovery — demolition work.

“There’s some days when I wake up pretty sore,” said Hudson, who studied experiential education before working in outdoor education and deciding he wanted to do more.

Hudson said he’ll carry memories from his year in the NCCC for the rest of his life.

“I think the biggest thing is just having made that investment,” he said.

He’ll also keep community service as part of his life.

“You continue this legacy of service for the rest of your life,” he said.

Hudson’s team consists of NCCC members from Ohio, Nevada, Alabama, Washington, Maryland and California. At the end of the day, Hudson and his team are living in one large room in an attic atop a church in Breakabeen.

“It definitely stretches people outside of their comfort zone,” Hudson said.

Check-in will take place starting at 9 a.m. Saturday at the SALT office at 258 Main St. The event runs all day, but the bulk of work will be done between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

People interested in volunteering can contact SALT to register at 702-5017.

Categories: Schenectady County

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