Area residents affected by the flood of August 28 should know that they can still get help rebuilding their lives through the area’s Interfaith Council.
Did you lose furniture? Pots and pans? Bedding? Clothes?
Do you need assistance tearing out walls and rebuilding?
Are you housebound, unable to go for help, or to replace the things you lost?
Homeowners or tenants, young or old, families or singles are encouraged to contact their own church pastor, or to call Dorothy Maffei at the unofficial recovery headquarters in the Commons, at 845-586-4177; email@example.com.
“We are here to help in any way, whether it’s furnishing your new home or apartment, providing a gas card so you can fill the car and get to work, or helping complete applications for aid from the government, the Mark Project, and other local and county agencies,” said Maffei. “There are many organizations involved in this recovery — Cooperative Extension, Margaretville Hospital, the Family Table, the churches and others. All are doing great work, but it can be confusing. We can help make those connections if you don’t know where to start.”
Added Rich Dykstra of the Interfaith Council, “We are really concerned about meeting people’s needs. Even the littlest things can go a long way to making people feel better and stronger, that they are going to recover from this. We have been entrusted by the greater community with a lot of resources and we want to make sure they are being used by the people who need them.”
Seven weeks after the flood, some people are still struggling with how to go forward, and are just now figuring out what needs to be done. Practical, immediate help is available to individuals and families, and there is no shame in asking for assistance. If you know someone who could use a hand, call 586-4177.
And if you have some time and the willingness to help your neighbors, there is a continuing need for volunteers to shop for folks without transportation, muck out properties, pick up and deliver furniture and to help with forms and logistics. Please call the number above if you can assist.
Targeting your donation
If you were untouched by the flood and are still looking for a way to make a meaningful contribution, check out http://rebuild123.org, a special website developed to collect the stuff that’s needed and put it in the hands of people who can use it.
Click on “Catskills” and “Middletown Flood Recovery” to see a list of general needs (dehumidifiers, tub mats, lamps, cookware), and also needed items that individual families have identified, from a vacuum cleaner to a well pump, a king size bed frame to a child’s dresser. Call Dorothy Maffei if you you’d like to supply an item and arrangements will be made to pick it up and deliver it.
“There is an extreme labor shortage in the area and there just are no hands available for sorting through, organizing and packaging random donations,” Maffei explains. “We are trying to meet very specific needs.”