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Pierrepont Volunteer Fire Department collecting for Sandy relief efforts

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PIERREPONT - Members of the Pierrepont Volunteer Fire Department and Auxiliary are teaming up to collect items for the Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts.

Third Assistant Chief Brett D. Grandaw arrived at the fire hall at approximately 3:15 p.m. Friday afternoon and within minutes, he had already received a table full of donations.

Standing in front of that table and with some other items stacked on the floor, Mr. Grandaw said, “I’ve been here for 45 minutes and people have just been rolling in. Hopefully they keep on coming.”

Mr. Grandaw said the department has struck a deal with a local U-Haul rental business that will provide them with free trucks to deliver the donations. “All we need to do is buy the gas,” he said.

According to Mr. Grandaw the donations will be delivered to New York City sometime before Thanksgiving, with a couple of different organizations serving as potential recipients.

“We’ll touch base with them and see what their needs are at the time,” he said. “My guess is we’ll probably go to Rockaway. That’s one of the more heavily damaged areas.”

When asked what types of items they’re collecting, Mr. Grandaw said warm clothing, hats, mittens, socks, baby items, over-the-counter medicines, non-perishable foods, cleaning supplies and pet items.

“I could talk for an hour about what they need,” he said.

Mr. Grandaw said he has a soft spot for people’s pets that have been affected by the storm.

“I love animals. I have two dogs myself and I would hate to see them starve,” he said.

“It’s all stuff we take for granted. We can walk to the cupboard and just grab whatever, but we’re not in that situation,” he continued.

Mr. Grandaw said he hopes to have the fire hall staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the next couple of weeks, but if you arrive to make a donation and no one is there, simply leave your items at the department’s back door.

“There will be people stopping by to check,” he said.

People in the Massena area are also invited to drop off donations at either Frenchie’s Ford or Frenchie’s Chevrolet. Mr. Grandaw said the department has teamed up with dealership to help make their efforts as successful as possible.

A similar effort was launched this week by several business owners in Potsdam and Real “Frenchie” Coupal has challenged the Massena community to collect more than Potsdam.

People may contribute to those efforts between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday next week.

To follow the efforts, Mr. Grandaw has set up a Facebook page, “Pierrepont Sandy Relief.”

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