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November 8, 2012

Area pitching in with hurricane relief

As New York City, Long Island and New Jersey struggle to pick up the pieces after Hurricane Sandy, local individuals and groups in the region Monday were making plans to help.

Among them was the Mohawk Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The chapter, which covers Otsego, Oneida and Herkimer counties, “has deployed eight people in a number of different jobs, ranging from emergency operations center folks to disaster mental health folks, health services, staffing, logistics and sheltering,” said Kelly Brown, emergency services manager for the chapter.

“There are some from every county, and they are in multiple areas in the metropolitan area of New York,” he said.

Among the areas to which the Red Cross workers have been sent are Long Island and Staten Island, two of the worst-hit areas.

“Most of them were deployed last week,” Brown added.

To do all this, the Red Cross and other groups need money, and fundraisers are being planned to help fund the enormous relief effort.

Among the local fundraisers will be a benefit show Saturday at the Autumn Café on Main Street in Oneonta. Sophie Gault & Co. and Tough Crowd are scheduled to perform, and a $3 cover charge will be collected. Proceeds will go to the Oneonta Relief Corps, a group of students from the State University College at Oneonta who will be helping with the rebuilding efforts in the months to come.

Linda Drake, the director of SUNY Oneonta’s Center for Social Responsibility and Community, is coordinating campus efforts.

“We have several drives going on campus for pretty much anything you could think of: nonperishable foods, hygiene, flashlights and batteries, winter coats, mittens and hats,” she said. “It’s in all the residence halls. It’s a collaborative effort throughout the campus.”

The center also is compiling lists of students who have volunteered to go to the storm-ravaged area to help with the cleanup.

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