MAHOPAC, N.Y. - The Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce is leading the charge in Putnam County to help relief efforts in the aftermath of Florida’s Hurricane Irma by organizing a donation drive.
“Robert DeLucia, a chamber board member who will be helping in the recovery effort in Florida, approached the board of directors with the idea of doing a donation drive to help those who have been affected by Hurricane Irma and we all thought it was a great idea that we wanted to share with the rest of the community,” said chamber chairwoman Faith Ann Butcher.
The chamber, through the support of its members, will partner with other chambers of commerce, Putnam County government, the town of Carmel and local school districts to unite as a community, show its support to those in Florida and have a greater impact on the recovery together than any group would on its own.
“The Mahopac Board of Education and the Mahopac School District values community service and we will be providing drop boxes in appropriate locations in our schools so that any teachers, faculty or students who want to voluntarily donate items as part of this initiative may do so,” said School Board President Leslie Mancuso.
Community Cares, a nonprofit member that is a 501(c)3, is willing to collect funds which will be donated to a boots-on-the-ground organization that is assisting those who were affected in Florida by Hurricane Irma.
“When I was going through my cancer treatments, Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and I could not help but think about those going through cancer treatments who are faced with the hardship of a devastating hurricane,” said Amy Sayegh, president and founder of Community Cares and vice chairwoman of the Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce. “When Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey, Community Cares and local volunteers brought hot food and supplies to those in Sandy’s path. Now, we are so happy to team up with the Greater Mahopac Carmel Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations and bring help to our friends in Florida who must deal with the aftermath of Irma.”
DeLucia, owner of Local Boys Junk Removal, will drive a donated 30-foot enclosed trailer full of contributed supplies down to Florida on Friday, Sept. 15. The chamber looks to collect items such as diapers, toiletries, batteries, blankets, bottled water and flashlights. Clothes and food donations will not be accepted.
“We are a community of first responders, career and volunteer, that comes together to help those in need,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “I ask everyone to contribute—no donation is too small; no donation is too big.”
A list of donation drop-off locations is available on the chamber website.
For more information, go to www.mahopaccarmelchamber.com or call 845-628-5553.