Under the direction of District Governor Tony Gilmore of Concord, N.H., Rotarian June Howe of Brattleboro and Dummerston, with the help of Governor-Elect David Hoopes of Londonderry, have set up a series of collection and volunteer points in Rutland, Springfield, Bellows Falls, Brattleboro and Bennington from which deliveries to a staging area in Paramus N.J. started early this week. Members of the Stratton community and several area churches - notably the Second Congregational Church of Londonderry - have significantly assisted as well. The effort has also been coordinated with and is supplying goods as well to the Burr and Burton and Orvis assistance program.
A senior Rotarian Kent Aldershof - who is a Londonderry second home owner - is one of the primary on site coordinators as well as one of the creators of this extraordinary Rotary staging and distribution center in Paramus, N.J. The center is serving as a reception station for charitable shipments from the sixty Rotary Clubs of southern Vermont and southern New Hampshire to aid those severely damaged communities in New Jersey.
All donations of used clothing will eventually benefit some charitable organizations, and they will find new owners; nothing will be discarded. Currently we are in Phase I of a three-part program. This phase is the collection and distribution of clothing, personal care items, food, cleaning supplies, and so on. We are also receiving cash donations, which will be used to purchase critically needed items where the need exceeds the amount of goods received; and as well, donations of Gift Cards, usable at Home Depot, Lowes, Target, Wal-Mart, and the like. A Rotary district in Maryland has sent $5,000 worth of such cards already.
This process will proceed for the next couple of weeks. Phase II will be collecting and distributing furniture and home furnishings such as tableware and cooking utensils. Over in the second building we already have chairs, beds, mattresses and the like. All brand new, of course, because the same law applies to donations of household goods.
Phase III will be arranging assistance with repairs and reconstruction.
This work will be continuing. Interested volunteers may contact Past Assistant Governor June Howe at 802-251-0004 or David Hoopes at 802-824-6405.