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July 12, 2014

More About What Fire Victims Need

by at 9:15 am.

I stopped by Wish Project yesterday (as did some others) and we’re hearing that what is really needed is clothing for slight-framed men - sized 30 or 32 pants. Of course, women’s and children’s clothing (infant to teen) also welcome, as well as toys, non-perishable food and household goods.

One thing I brought yesterday were cheap rubbermaid bins. Think about it: these families will get a lot of goods from the Wish Project and other organizations, but where will they store them? If you have extra bins kicking around, or want to buy them (I got a couple for $9 each at a local dept store) bring them, especially if they are solid colored (not clear plastic), with lids. This will help protect the privacy of the families as they use the bins to move their goods around.

Another thing I thought of…hangers. Lots of them will be needed, again, because these families will be set up in hotels, then in apartments, and given clothing they will need to hang. Bring hangers!

Eventually, and pretty soon at that, these families will need pots, pans, kitchen utensils and other cooking and kitchen implements. The Wish Project also mentioned they were in need of small kitchen appliances - toasters and coffee makers etc. If you have extra, working counter appliances in your home that are sitting in your basement doing nothing, bring them in!

And of course, right now Wish Project is asking for food items these displaced residents can eat without a fridge or stove, as they will be in hotels for now. The list from the Wish Project (PDF) is a good place to start. I just wandered the food isles looking for stuff kids would want to eat, microwavable meals, snacks, and drinks they could keep without refrigeration and packed my cart full of store-brand items.

If you could find microwavable rice I’m certain that would be much appreciated, given many of the victims are Cambodian and rice is a staple food, as mentioned in this article.

There will be a fundraiser on Sunday in the Glory Buddhist Temple on Cambridge Street at 5:30 p.m. The Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association also has a GoFundMe page for survivors, and you can also donate to the Branch Street Fire Victims Relief Fund, at any branch of the Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, or send money to the bank at P.O. Box 1238, Lowell, MA 01853.

I’m certain the Wish Project, CTI or other organizations could use some help from volunteers, especially the Wish Project as a lot of donations are coming in and need to be sorted. I bet they’d be tickled if you brought them pizza and drinks today to help feed the volunteers that are there today. You can call them to see what they are in need of or to check if something you have is something they take: 978-441-9474.

Please pipe up in comments with any more news or information. Thanks!

2 Responses to “More About What Fire Victims Need”

  1. Lynne Says:

    Things are kicking over at the Wish Project. You have another hour (til 2pm) to get stuff down there today. Donna says that they will be processing all these donations for weeks, so if you want to volunteer to help, consider doing that over the next few weeks - keep this crisis front of mind even as it fades off the news. That’s when the real work is still continuing and they need people.

  2. Lynne Says:

    PS - you can still drop stuff off at other locations throughout the weekend:

    Lannan Mazda, 720 Rogers St, Lowell will accept donations on July 11, until 6pm, July 12, from 9am -5pm, and July 13, from noon to 4pm.

    Walgreen’s in Lowell on Bridge St, Plain St, and Middlesex St, during their open hours.

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