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I’d posted a Facebook thread on Lowell Live Feed this morning, and people have been filling in information about where and how to donate money, clothing, and other goods to the survivors of the fire which claimed seven lives, three of them children, on the corner of Branch St and Queen St in the early hours this morning. I wanted to put all of that into one post for people to refer to. Most of this has been gathered from Twitter where people were covering the press conference this morning.
A fund has been set up for monetary donations:
Branch Street Fire Victims Relief Fund
Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union
P.O. Box 1238
Lowell, MA 01853
UPDATE: The Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association has also set up a GoFundMe page.
Today, the Red Cross is collecting clothing and food donations for the victims at the Senior Center where they are staging their operations. However, that might be overwhelmed pretty quickly, so you can also wait until tomorrow and donate such things to the Wish Project, along with any other goods on their list, such as furniture, bedding, and home goods. I suspect home goods and clothing will be top of the list for needs in the short term. The Wish Project says: “Not sure if we can take it? We reserve the right of refusal, so please call at 978-441-9474 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure it will be accepted.” So be sure to take a careful look at the list so as not to bring things they cannot take. The Wish Project address is 1A Foundry St. in Lowell.
UPDATE: The Wish Project has a web page specifically listing the needs of the Branch Street fire victims. Worth a look.
[UPDATE] FOOD ITEMS: The Wish Project has a way for you to donate food boxes to the recently-homeless fire victims. There is going to be a huge need for immediate food items that can be consumed without the use of a kitchen or fridge. Via the MV End Homelessness blog.
I am not sure where personal items can be donated, such as toothbrushes and other personal hygiene products, but I’ll update when I find out. Over 40 people were displaced with this fire so the demand will be great. [UPDATE]: see link to Wish Project’s web page listing immediate needs.
Also, there was mention of a fundraiser at the Buddhist temple on Cambridge this Sunday, with details TBA. I’ll update when I know more.
Add what you know in comments, please, and I’ll update.
The soup kitchen where veep nom Paul Ryan staged his faux cleanup photo op, against, it appears, the wishes and policy of said soup kitchen, is seeing backlash (it appears to be Republican in nature…for what, embarrassing Paul Ryan who used and abused the soup kitchen and got caught staging fake photos? ugh).
Generally, it appears this place has a policy against being a backdrop for ANY political event, and has said publicly that it was not authorized and even that the Ryan people “ramrodded their way” into the charity. Now they are facing abusive phone calls and FB messages:
Ryan supporters have now targeted Antal and his soup kitchen, Antal said, including making hundreds of angry phone calls. Some members of Antal’s volunteer staff have had to endure the barrage as well, he said. “The sad part is a lot of [the callers] want to hide behind anonymity,” he said, adding that if someone leaves their name and number he has tried to return their call. In addition to phone calls, people have posted a few choice words on the charity’s Facebook wall, including statements like “I hope you lose your tax [sic] emempt status,” Anyone who is thinking about donations to you should think twice” and “Shame on you Brian Antal!”
They are also stating that they are seeing a terrible drop off in donations, which affects how many people they can serve.
Look, this isn’t about politics. It’s about commonplace civility. These people, through no fault of their own, were used, apparently unauthorized, as a photo op for a candidate, and when they protested the misuse, are now suffering from backlash that will hurt only the very poor who rely on the soup kitchen. Personally, I wish we could do away with soup kitchens entirely and actually address poverty in this country. And to be clear, this is a faith-based organization, and normally I don’t give my money to such (my personal choice). However, in light of the effect this will have on extremely vulnerable people who are the clients of this soup kitchen, I’d ask that if you have a spare dollar or two (and only if you do), to please consider giving a small donation to this soup kitchen. You can do so by the following:
To make a donation to the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, money can be sent to P.O. Box 224, Youngstown, Ohio 44501. Donations also may be made online. Online donors should specify that their donations are for the Youngstown, Ohio, soup kitchen.
Let’s see if the internets can right a wrong being done in the name of politics.
And sends their THANKS, via e-mail. Thought I’d pass it along.
We came, We Saw, and We conquered….and conquered we did! 21,740 pounds of food and still counting, exceeding our goal of collecting 15,000 pounds!! We certainly couldn’t have done this without you, your families, students, and colleagues!
Thank you to everyone at Lowell City Hall, Mayor Murphy, City Manager Bernie Lynch, Councilor Marty Lorrey for getting the ball rolling on a press conference for us; Elizabeth Craveiro for coordinating the City Hall Food Bank Challenge – Genius Idea; and congratulations to The Department of Planning & Development – a.k.a. The Department of Canning and Food Elements for winning the challenge! Grand total of 2240 pounds of food collected at Lowell City Hall!
It’s been slow blogging since the election. LiL and Nutter output is down, along with commenting. Dick Howe’s blog is on pace, even with the namesake listed as ‘day to day’ due to an eye injury. (btw, Dick’s prognosis is good) The stand out Lowell blogger is Cliff Krieger. That blog is grinding out post after post. I suggest, especially as we head in to a national election cycle, you give Cliff more of your mouse clicks.
There are a few things worth glancing over. The CM is looking for the Council to shit or get off the pot, re: plan design. The Council’s multitasking skills will be challenged, as they also have to pick a new City Clerk. Will they reinforce the “Townie Turnstyle?”
Also, some folks are looking to set up another Charter School. Er, put me down as a NO! Lowell has enough school choice, especially K-8. I don’t want no stinkin’ vouchers & no ’scab hiring, for profit, cherry picking all the brightest kids to pump your test scores, using retreads from a failed board‘ charter schools, neither. :vP”’
The holiday charity industry is in full swing. I always feel so joyous as the Lowell Brahmin come down to mingle among us. It’s a hoot as they compete to out ‘good karma’ each other. I wasn’t the only one paying attention when Bill Clinton said, “To the truly enlightened, altruism is the purest form of self-preservation.”
Shame on me for poo pooing. Don’t I always look for a ‘Win-Win?’
Leave the pooing to me, on this Open Thread.
A lot of people feel helpless in the face of the terrible disaster in Haiti. If you are contemplating a donation to one or more organizations that are part of the response, I hope you’ll consider an organization I’ve come to know, the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation. They have facilities on the ground and while some of their bigger facilities were not affected, being further out, all of the country’s remaining hospitals are being overrun with patients fleeing the city and looking for care. They also have facilities needing to be rebuilt as well. They are well positioned to deliver needed care now, as well as on into the future, to continue their work to build and rebuild infrastructure that Haiti sorely needed before the earthquake, and now is desperate for.
They are also blogging their experience on the ground as best they can.
It was with great enthusiasm that I began to read Mike LaFleur’s article in Saturday’s Sun, “Lowell project makes wishes come true. They need help, too.”
I was already quite familiar with the Lowell-based charity that is the subject of the article, The Wish Project since Kristin (K-R-S) is a member of the Board of Directors and volunteer extraordinaire.
For the most part, the Sun article did focus on the role of the project – a primary source of furniture, home and baby goods for the needy of Lowell. When shelters and housing assistance groups place a previously homeless person in a new apartment, in many cases, the Wish Project provides the furniture.
But I found some of the information inconsistent with my personal knowledge of the Wish Project and its Founder and Executive Director, Donna Hunnewell. For example, the decision by the Board of Directors to pay her was made after losing two grants. Organization and government agencies which distribute grants demand stability and sustainability. (more…)
Tim Little brought this vlog diary from Mbair to my attention. It was cross-posted on both on Daily Kos and Blue Mass Group. It should be of interest to us in that it focuses on hunger in our region and the work of the Merrimack Valley Food Bank, the major distributor of food to the various food pantries.
The staff of the food bank informed the vlogger that “the (MA) the State government passed a spending bill to support the 4 main Food Banks in Massachusetts” and they were especially appreciate of our State Senator Steve Panagiatakos. There is also a nice picture of him. How many other Massachusetts State Senators get their pic and a favorable review in both Daily Kos and BMG?
I received a request from a friend to post a link to a fundraising site for 5-year-old Sophea, a local girl who has been diagnosed with Congenital Muscular Dystrophy, a rare form of MD. She needs to be flown to London for more treatment, and her family needs help with medical costs and refitting their home to help Sophea get around. The Lowell Sun has an article as well.
They’re doing some fundraising around the Lowell Folk Festival, so if you plan on coming up to Lowell for that anyway, chip in. The website is: www.flysophea.org. There’s also a silent auction or else, you can just send money. For more information, contact Paulette at 978-459-7043 or via email: rencar [at] comcast.net (replace the [at] and spaces with @).
I got this info from KRS last night:
Good Afternoon To All:
The Lowell Wish Project is in dire need of the following items. If you can help, it would be greatly appreciated. Should you need someone to pick up your donations, please email me back and we’ll make arrangements for pick up. Thank you advance for your generosity & please feel free to forward this to folks in your address books.
Flood Relief - Urgent!
We need the following items in large supply this week - for flood victims in Lowell, Lawrence and beyond
- Men’s pants 60 x 30
- Work boots for men - any size 6-13
- Electric dryers and washers
- New gas water heaters
- Tennis/running shoes for men/women all sizes (decent cond.)
- Clean towels
- Men’s jeans 40 waist and larger
- Disposable razors
- Shaving cream
- Small Bureaus (upright NOT the long ones)
- Air conditioners
- Small couches, loveseats, futons
In addition, every week we help 6 -8 needy families moving from shelter in to their new apartments. We can always use the following home goods:
- Full and twin mattress sets (all sizes welcome)
- Bunk Beds
- Couches - loveseats and futons too
- Pots and pans
- Coffee tables
- Small appliances and TV’s
- Vaccuum cleaners
- New mops and brooms
- Curtains-that cover (sheers are great but balloon toppers are not as useful)
- TV’s color
- Vacuum Cleaners
Got something on the list? We welcome your donations at our warehouse when we are open.
May- June 10th - Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 1pm-3pm
June 12-Sept 2 - Open Mon, Wed, Fri 9:30-11:30, Sat 1-3
Warehouse: 978-441-WISH (9474)
Got something else to donate? Contact us first but if we can place it - we will take it.
1-A Foundry St.
Foundry Industrial Park, Lowell
This was on dKos yesterday. This video of musician Charmaine Neville’s raw account of her days after the storm in NOLA cuts deep and hits hard. I’ll warn you now she gets graphic in parts; she witnessed horrors you will have to hear her to believe. If you want to know what it was like for victims stuck in NOLA while the feds sat on their goddamned hands and did nothing…just go watch.
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