LEWISTON — The Androscoggin County Emergency Management Agency is faced with a surplus of donations, mostly clothing, now that all of the downtown fire victims are in new housing.
In a statement from Joanne Potvin, director of the Androscoggin County Emergency Management Agency, she thanked all who gave to help people left homeless when apartment buildings on Bates, Pine, Pierce and Bartlett streets were destroyed by fire in three blazes set April 29, May 3 and May 6.
Donated warehouse space, intended to be used only for three weeks, is still overflowing with items, Potvin said. The remaining surplus fills two 8- by 10-foot rooms from floor to ceiling.
The donations include all of the remaining items that were stored at the YWCA, as well as the many truckloads that came directly into the warehouse.
"Donations management is very tricky," Potvin said. Some items, such as winter clothing and skis, weren't appropriate for the situation. Cultural differences also made certain clothing items inappropriate, she said.
"We really appreciate it, but the needs have been met and we need to repurpose donations where they will do the most good," Potvin said.
She plans to send the remaining items to churches that run clothing closets, the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities, among other groups, so they will go to those most in need.
Realizing these particular donations were meant specifically for fire victims in Lewiston, Potvin wanted to respect the intentions of those who gave so much. She is asking all persons who object to the redistribution of their donated items to contact the Androscoggin Unified Emergency Management Agency at 784-0147, no later than 5 p.m. Thursday, May 30.
Arrangements will be made for individuals to go through remaining goods and reclaim their items.