Fire Departments Come Together For Donations

By Kelly McCarthy

November 10, 2012 Updated Nov 12, 2012 at 11:03 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) A number of collection drives have started since Hurricane Sandy hit the New York City area.

A number of Broome County Fire Departments opened their doors to collect donations for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

"Some of the guys said "jeez we're waiting for people to drop things off," that wasn't going so well, we got some donations," said Joe Shoemaker, Endwell Assistant Fire Chief.

But they were looking to make a difference.

The Endwell Fire Station decided to take the donation box straight to the people.

"A lot of the career departments will do the Fill The Boot campaign and you know, we can do the same thing, just for a different cause," said Shoemaker.

"100 percent of what we get donated is going down to people who were hurt by Sandy," said Hugh Reynolds, Vestal Fire Department President.

Filling up trucks and driving straight down to Oceanside, Long Island, where some of these local fire fighters went to respond.

"You'd be surprised how many people in Binghamton and the surrounding areas have family down there, or they know of somebody who has family down there," said Reynolds.

They're collecting all kinds of items, but the most commonly donated so far is just cash.

"They've been doing it for about an hour and a half and they've got almost a thousand dollars, so the generosity of this community towards the people down south that need help is fantastic," said Shoemaker.

"The good thing about money, if we're light on some items we can purchase them and bring them down, because they'll give us a list of what they need," said Reynolds.

Other items in need are warm winter clothes and blankets.

To drop off at one of the participating stations, and to say thank you.

"I think the community looks for a way to pay back for all the help we got last year for our problem," said Shoemaker.

"We will collect and deliver down there until it stops," said Reynolds.

A long road to recovery, filling up one boot at a time.

The participating stations are accepting donations this weekend and next weekend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Oakdale Mall across from Ruby Tuesday’s, all four Vestal Stations, Endwell Fire Station, Endicott Fire Station, Johnson City Fire Station and Apalachin Fire Station.

Endicott and Johnson City will also accept donations Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Oakdale Mall will accept donations any time during the week.

If you're interested in donating, you can contact Jan Foland at 797-4741 or they can e-mail jfoland@stny.rr.com

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