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New campaign seeks donations for Irene victims

New campaign seeks donations for Irene victims

A new ATV or video game console would make a nice holiday gift. But for dozens of families still cop

A new ATV or video game console would make a nice holiday gift.

But for dozens of families still coping with destruction following last year’s flooding, returning home would be the ultimate gift.

Schoharie Area Long Term, a nonprofit formed to rebuild the Schoharie Valley following Tropical Storm Irene, is appealing to those looking to help in a new fundraising campaign.

Called Give the Gift of Home, the effort provides gives gift-givers a choice on where they want their donation to go.

And they can share the joy of giving by naming their donation in honor of a loved one on their shopping list, SALT volunteer coordinator Andrea Hemmerich said.

The new campaign is bolstered by the promise made by Cobleskill-based investment firm Fenimore Asset Management: to match donations dollar-for-dollar up to $250,000.

So far, donors have sent $160,000 into that campaign, Hemmerich said. “We’re really excited at this point and we’re looking forward to raising the rest.”

The Give the Gift of Home identifies 10 specific needs givers may seek to fill, each with a suggested donation ranging from anything at all the way up to $100,000 — the gift of a full home rebuilding.

The “People Have to Eat” offers the chance to fund a complete kitchen restoration for $20,000, a donation of $5,000 would “firm a foundation” for a home knocked off its supports.

Donors could also “Turn up the Heat” with a donation of $3,000 for a heating system, or a gift of $300 could be directed toward a washer, dryer or oven.

For $50 a generous donor could contribute “Pieces of the Puzzle” and fund the purchase of a bucket of nails, tools or a share in flooring materials.

Since it formed, SALT has been involved in helping the recovery of roughly 350 families so far, but gaps remain for many of them, according to the nonprofit.

Learn more about the campaign on the SALT Web site, www.saltrecovery.org.

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