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Irene: Ways to volunteer, places to donate, details on 'Labor for Your Neighbor'

Irene: Ways to volunteer, places to donate, details on 'Labor for Your Neighbor'

Want to help out this weekend?
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Want to help out this weekend? Here are some of the ways you can pitch in and help people struggling to clean up after this week's devastating flood.

'Labor for your neighbor'

From the governor's office: "Gov. Andrew Cuomo today launched "Labor for your neighbor," a Labor Day weekend effort to tap into the good neighbor instincts of New Yorkers and rally volunteers to pitch in on local clean-ups of public and private property following the devastation of Hurricane Irene.

"Cuomo said he and members of his family will join New Yorkers who turn out to help their neighbors, bringing tools, elbow grease and volunteers to the Schoharie Valley, Catskills and North Country, where the storm brought extensive damage. The Governor has visited each of these regions to assess damage since the storm hit. Clean-ups will take place on Sunday and Monday. Volunteers will be safely shuttled into villages needing assistance, and provided appropriate supervision and equipment.

"In village after village and town after town, we have witnessed the wonderful spirit of New Yorkers turning out to help others in need, " said Cuomo. "Grocers have thrown open their doors and given away all their food. Customers have come out to clean up local businesses and return them to operation. Neighbors have shared food, clothing and shelter. Through 'Labor for your Neighbor', we want to stimulate even more neighbor-to-neighbor help on this long holiday weekend. We've given it a name, but there is no copyright on the kindness of friends and neighbors.

"While government at all levels organizes resources for the great leaps toward full recovery, individual New Yorkers can, with just a few hours of work, help their neighbors take small steps toward normalcy. As an elderly woman in Prattsville told us this week, even someone to help get the mud out of her basement would give her the hope for a new start. "

"Cuomo said that major corporations have already responded to his requests for support of "Labor for your Neighbor. Home Depot, WalMart and other companies and suppliers will supply cleaning pails, mops, shovels, rakes cleaning supplies, food, water and other equipment.

"The National Guard and State Office of Emergency Management will supervise the effort.

"There are many ways for New Yorkers to volunteer or contribute over the coming weeks. New Yorkers who want to help by making a money donation to recovery efforts can do so through a centralized effort coordinated by United Way of New York State. United Way has set up dedicated fund that will take donations for charities and voluntary agencies assisting with recovery efforts in the affected communities. One hundred percent of donations will go relief efforts. United Way will work with other statewide charitable partners, such as Catholic Charities, United Jewish Appeal, Red Cross, the Food Bank Association, the Community Action Association and others, in the Hurricane Irene Storm Recovery Fund.

Susan K. Hager, President and CEO of United Way of New York State said, "Thousands of individuals and families have been hurt by this storm. Homes and livelihood have been damaged or destroyed leaving many without even the basics: food, clothing, household goods and even transportation. Affected families with school-aged children are especially challenged to ready their children for the start of the new school year. Beyond that all of our neighbors who have been adversely impacted by this storm need our help. United Way of New York State is proud to partner with Governor Cuomo in responding to these needs. "

"New Yorkers interested in volunteering or contributing can do so on the Cuomo's website www.governor.ny.gov/laborforyourneighbor. Volunteers will receive specific directions and instructions for the cleanup sites.

"Those who wish to contribute goods rather than funds should directly contact charitable organizations in their areas to determine which will accept such contributions and what items are most needed in the storm relief effort. United Way and the Disaster Relief Centers being set up by New York State with the Federal Emergency Management Administration do not accept non-cash contributions."

In Cobleskill

New clothing can be dropped off at Movie Gallery, 813 East Main Street, Cobleskill. Used clothing can be dropped off at Stella Motors, Unit 52, 142 MacArthur Avenue, Cobleskill. Movie Gallery is also accepting toy donations.

Duanesburg collecting donations

Duanesburg Central collecting money donations along with Wal-Mart gift cards to be used to help Duanesburg and Middleburgh students affected by the flood. The money and gift cards will be used to purchase back-to-school clothing for students along with other items. The school is also seeking school supply donations, such as lunch boxes and backpacks. Donations can be delivered to any of the school buildings. Checks should be made out to the DCS PTSO with "Flood Victims" written on the memo line. All monetary donations can be mailed or brought to any of the school buildings. The school is also looking for information on any Duanesburg students and their families who need help.

Schoharie County Community Action Program

Schoharie County Community Action Program is accepting all new items that a person needs including housewears, food, clothing etc. Head Start on Lark Street is accepting all of the above as well as used items. SCCAP also has set up a separate account for monetary donations. Any items going to SCCAP can be dropped off next to Dollar General in the old movie/video rental store.

Schoharie Central accepting donations

Schoharie Central School is accepting donations of school supplies.

The Esperance Elks Lodge at 111 Main Street in Esperance is working with the Red Cross and taking donations of clothes, bath essentials, cleaning supplies, and school supplies. For directions, call the lodge at 875-6200.

Schalmont collecting donations

The Schalmont Central School District is accepting donatioons to help local families, staff members and businesses. Donations will be accepted at Jefferson Elementary today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On Sunday and Monday, donations will not be accepted. Schalmont families are encouraged to come to the school and pick up items from 9 a.m. to noon.

Beginning on Tuesday, the collection site will move to Woestina Elementary School, and available to Schalmont families on weekdays from 12 to 4 p.m.

Food bank donations

Financial donations are needed to assist the Regional Food Bank with the costs of shipping and handling all this food. Donations can be made by visiting the Food Bank’s website at www.regionalfoodbank.net, clicking the Donate Now button, and selecting “Hurricane Relief” in the Program Description box; by sending a check referencing Hurricane Relief to the Regional Food Bank, 965 Albany-Shaker Rd., Latham, NY 12110; or by texting RFB to 20222 to make an immediate $5 donation. Donations of food can be dropped off at the Regional Food Bank or any Sunmark Federal Credit Union branch.

From Old Fort Johnson:

Many have called in to offer help in response to the devastation.

Now is your chance to pitch in!

We need volunteers on Saturday, Sept. 3rd

Morning shift is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; afternoon shift is 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

And five volunteers on Friday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Contact either Lori Rulison at 424-2679 / [email protected] or Gene Lees at 866-1657 / [email protected] to register.

**PLEASE DO NOT COME TO THE SITE WITHOUT CALLING FIRST TO REGISTER**

Good organization and coordination of your efforts is central to our success.

Parking is very limited. Carpool or have someone drop you off and get you when the shift ends. It is very muddy at the site. Wear construction glasses, long pants, long sleeves, waterproof boots, and bring rubber gloves for the mud or work gloves to protect your hands when loading the dumpster. Bring an extra pair of shoes to change into after working and a small plastic bag for soiled clothing or boots.

WE DO NOT HAVE ELECTRICITY OR WATER – WE DO HAVE PORTA JOHNS

Volunteer cleaners: bring a small flat shovel, a mop, (if you have either) and rags. Bring water in plastic gallons to clean with (we have no electricity and no water).

Volunteer movers: to lift some heavier items like mud buckets, old storage shelves, debris, trash etc. We also must demolish and remove the damaged cabinets in the Visitors’ Center. Wear work gloves.

Volunteer grounds clean up: work gloves, rubber boots, and buckets required to pick up debris.

Volunteer caterers: If you can’t work, maybe you can help us by feeding us. Plan on donating sandwiches for the workers, bottled water, chips, fruit, cookies, veggies etc. Drop off your food donations to the front area of the fort between 10AM and 11AM on Saturday morning. Someone will be out front to organize all donations. Call either Lori or Gene to find out what we need.

Volunteer recorder/photographer: If you cannot lift nor clean, each shift needs a recorder to photograph and document all items that are being disposed of .

Saturday starts at 9 a.m. with a brief orientation

If you cannot make it either Friday or Saturday, you can volunteer your help for a later date. This recovery/response will be ongoing. Email [email protected] or HYPERLINK "mailto:[email protected]" [email protected] with your name and phone number, one of us will contact you about upcoming efforts.

Your donations are also needed to fund the Fort restoration

If you’d like to make a gift of cash, make your check out to “MCHS” (Montgomery County Historical Society) and put “flood relief” on the memo line.

Mail checks to: Montgomery County Historical Society PO Box 196, Fort Johnson NY 12070.

If you’d like to help with donations in kind, call either Lori or Gene and ask what is still needed.

As of today we need: 2 large gas cans, 25 cans of Lysol spray, 10 mops / mop heads, 100 pairs rubber gloves, 10 boxes clear trash bags, 100 masks, 50 rolls paper towels, 50 cardboard boxes for storage

Food donations for Saturday’s cleanup

40 sandwiches, 60 drinks, 10 dozen cookies, fruit, veggies, chips.

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