As we all know, we as Saratogians were extremely lucky to have just lost power in the devastating hurricane that swept by on Sunday. Many of our close upstate neighbors were not so lucky. In Greene and Schoharie County, the devastation was unbelievable. Whole towns were up to their necks in flood waters, homes were uplifted and carried some feet before completely collapsing into piles of rubble, and there were even some lives lost. If you would like to help by donating or volunteering, here is some information to get you started. All Price Choppers are selling "Your Help Counts:Irene" window stickers, with proceeds directed to the American Red Cross disaster relief of New York and New England.
The Schenectady City Mission, located at 425 Hamilton Street, is collecting donations to pass on to the American Red Cross. Particular items of need are pet food and supplies, perishable food like fruit and milk, laundry detergent and dish soap. You can also contact them at 346-2275.
The Windham Area Relief Foundation started "Help Windham Rebuild after Hurricane Irene" to help the Greene County community rebuild. Donate at http://windhamrebuild.org, or send checks to WARF, 61 state Route 296, Windham, NY 12496 and indicate "flood relief" in the memo.
The American Red Cross is holding four-hour training sessions for "spontaneous volunteers" who want to assist victims. Fast-track training sessions will be from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday and Tuesday in Poughkeepsie. Details: 458-8111 to register.
FarmieMarket.com and All Good Bakers are soliciting donations for the not-for-profit Regional Farm and Food Project. All funds go to farmers for reconstruction expenses for farms that lost agricultural product and projected income in the storm. Donate: http://farmiemarket.com
The Schalmont Central School District is collecting children's clothing with backpacks and supplies to help students, particularly those who live in Rotterdam Junction. Money gift cards, household items, cleaning supplies, toiletries, first aid supplies and nonperishable food are also being collected. Drop off at Jefferson Elementary School. Details: 956-0163.
Organizers are looking for volunteers to help clean the Fonda Fairgrounds, 201 S. Bridge St., so the fair can open by 5 p.m. Thursday. Details: http://www.fondafair.com/
On Friday, a pickup truck to collect items needed for residents of flooded communities will be parked in the north lot of the Colonie Police Department, 312 Wolf Road, from 7am to 3:30pm. Items needed include bottled water, coffee, hand sanitizer, unscented detergent, hot cocoa, salt and pepper, bagels, English muffins, butter, ketchup, mustard, energy bars, granola bars, dish soap, baked goods, antacid tablets, children's electrolyte replacement drinks (like Pedialyte), adult and infant diapers and wipes, pillows, blankets, linens, phone cards, gas cards, disposable phones, individual serving-size food, cash donations, toilet paper, garbage bags, sponges, rubber gloves, pre-packaged individual puddings, applesauce, snacks, etc. for Meals on Wheels, small-sized syrup, bread, sturdy paper plates and napkins. Also, shoes, new undergarments, bras, sports bras and underwear.