Local agency needs to get rid of excess donations for Lewiston fire victims

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.


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Carl Kimball's picture


Try getting a hold of Red Cross out in Oklahoma. They may be able to use these articles at this time. Or you can have a large lawn sale and put the money into the Red Cross or United Way. But don't throw it away, make good use of them. And DON'T let some one make a profit to put in their pockets, people gave these articles to help others, not to put jingle in someone's hand...(just my opinion and not that of this paper)...


If someone cleaned out their

If someone cleaned out their musty old basement on these people or gave sports equipment or snowsuits, they don't deserve the courtesy of a choice on what happens to the items. THINK before you donate.

Carl Kimball's picture


Kathy, i understand the feelings of the snowsuits, skis and other items, but even these come in handy at a yard sale to donate the profits over to the Red Cross which will help others. Ya, people should think before donating to help fire victims, but when you get lemons, make lemonade. Always look at ways to make due with what is given. I'm sorry if those items upset you. Some people saw the chance to get rid of the stuff in their cellar, so why not over look it and see the good it can do if you yard sale it. Thanks....


But who has time to process

But who has time to process all of that, store it and co-ordinate a yard sale? It's wrong of us to make more work for the volunteers during a difficult time. After reading several articles on the "second disaster" and the nightmare of trying to efficiently distribute even requested items, I am giving cash and store cards only, from now on.


And, they did not ask for

And, they did not ask for yard sale items. You caused them a lot of trouble. How is a future yard sale that doesn't even have a crew, going to help a woman who needs feminine supplies today and the nearest donated ones are on a truck five miles away by foot? Think!

Carl Kimball's picture


There is nothing anyone can do about what happen in the past, it's done and nothing can change it. So now they need to figure out what to do with this stuff. So the best thing is to either get a hold of the Red Cross in Oklahoma and see if they can use some of this stuff or organize a yard sale and give the profit to the Red Cross here in Maine for future victims. There's no need to sit and be upset, just make the best of a bad situation. There's always good in bad times. That's all i'm going to say. Have a nice night!


Nothing doing!

You shame someone for their feelings and then walk away. Nasty. Glad you got to have your superiority trip. Now come and get your moldy skis.


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