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November 8, 2012

Area pitching in with hurricane relief

(Continued)

“We are trying to finds places that are safe and ready for volunteers to physically go down,” she said. “When we have a place to shower and sleep, we can go down for a weekend.”

“Things have to calm down in the disaster zone,” she added. “People still aren’t even allowed into their homes (other than) certain times of the day in parts of the area. So, when it’s safer, then we’ll make those decisions.”

Churches, too, are trying to help.

One collection is under way at Portlandville United Methodist Church.

Donations of such items as toothbrushes, soap, shoes, clothes, blankets, food, gasoline and generators are being accepted.

One load of items has already been sent south, Pastor MaryEllen Moore said.

That load went to Rockaway Beach, a long peninsula along the southern edge of Queens, that was not only was devastated by the storm but also by a fire that destroyed more than 100 homes. Donations of anything useful can be left in the closet next to front entrance of the church or through the side door Fellowship Hall.

She said her hope is that another truckload can leave this weekend, possibly for Staten Island.

Moore said she’s steering people who want to make cash donations to the United Methodist Committee on Relief. The organization’s website is at www.umcor.org.

Those who want to make a cash donation to the Red Cross can do so online at www.redcross.org. Donors can choose how their money is spent: where the need is greatest, for disaster relief or for their local chapters.

Local chapters include the Mohawk Valley and the Southern Tier Chapter, which covers Delaware, Chenango, Broome and Tioga counties.

The Mohawk Valley Chapter is at 303 West Liberty St., Rome, NY 13440, and 1415 Genesee St., Utica, NY 13501. The Southern Tier office is at 620 E. Main St., Endicott, NY 13761.

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