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Oct. 4, 2011

C-RCS community comes together in a time of need

Residents of Schoharie County, particularly of Cobleskill-Richmondville School District, proved to be a community in the fullest sense of the word in the aftermaths of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee.

When homes were destroyed or damaged and people were left with no power, water or food, they needed a place to go.

Shelter volunteersCommunity members and the C-RCS staff worked quickly to establish an emergency shelter at Golding Middle School.

“We knew the storm damage that first day was severe, but we weren’t aware of the full extent of the devastation at the time,” Superintendent Lynn Macan said. “We just knew that people were without power and some without homes and we wanted to do all that we could to help.”

During the next 13 days, volunteers from the school and the community worked around the clock to meet the needs of their neighbors. Those in need could come to Golding for water, food, shelter, hot showers, and supplies. Volunteers prepared hot meals and snacks for hungry residents as well as supplying dishes for Meals on Wheels, helped get residents who left home with nothing clothing and shoes, directed those without running water to the hot showers, and offered beds to those who needed a place to rest.

Besides time, residents also donated supplies. Everything from clothing to water to food to toiletries to cleaning supplies were dropped off at the school and local collection centers.

“The outpouring of support and donations of time, skills and supplies from the community and the C-RCS staff was truly astounding,” Macan said. “Every time the need for an item was posted online, people immediately responded, making sure the shelter could provide what our neighbors required.”

On September 5, ahead of school resuming , the shelter was officially taken over by the Red Cross and consolidated to the “fallout shelter” portion of the Golding/Ryder building project. The shelter remained open through Sept. 9, when the last of the more than100 residents received housing arrangements.

“The selfless actions many made during that trying period not only demonstrates the power the community has when it pulls together, but also the strength it has in the face of a challenge,” Macan said.

Visit our photo page to see the volunteers at work and the many donations the community made.