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Help Needed after Hurricane Irene …

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Hurricane Irene is still a major issue for many communities of the East Coast. At least 40 deaths due to the storm have been reported in 11 states, and thousands are still stranded and without power.  Many inland regions in Connecticut, MA, NJ, NY, & Vermont were extremely hard hit with torrential amounts of rain, unprecedented flooding, and downed trees and power lines. Three Hip2Save readers in flood-ravaged areas are asking for your assistance! Please read their pleas for help below:

Amy Fallas from Amsterdam in upstate NY: While walking through hard hit areas of my own town, I came across a family of five that had been greatly effected by this storm. Mom and Dad were busy cleaning and sorting through what was left of their home. Their three older sons were helping, and all alone playing with her Littlest Petshop toy was 6 year old Maria. I asked if it would be OK to just sit with her and keep her company. Maria is going into the first grade and she is very excited. I asked her what she thought of the storm and all the flooding and her response was both heart warming and heart breaking. Maria told me “It’s OK, because after every storm there is a rainbow.” So simple and so true. They say the greatest gift in life is the gift of giving, I would love nothing more then to be able to give Maria that rainbow.

Supplies needed in Amsterdam: Cleaning products, new or gently used clothing for men women & children of all ages, gift cards, non-perishable items, baby formula & baby food, diapers, wipes, personal care items, pet food, toys for boys & girls of all ages. Donations will be sorted by volunteers and distributed to the flood victims in need. Please send your donations to the following non-profit:

Liberty Arc
C/O Salsa Picante Carmen Irizarry
43 Liberty Dr.
Amsterdam NY 12010
(518)842-5080
(518)527-3235

Kristin Kilmer also from upstate NY: A friend and I are organizing a local fundraiser/supply drive for kids that are getting ready to start school soon & their families have lost so much. We are working a venue/date & list of items needed. Most of the focus will be on school supplies, clothes & items such as that. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. I will house all items until the event takes place. Thanks for your thoughts/prayers. Donations can be sent to my address:

Kristin Kilmer
115 Mountainview Ave
Troy, NY 12180


Stephanie Ackley from Vermont: I’m writing to you from Rutland VT. Our state was ravaged and destroyed by Irene. Roads and bridges are washed away, people are isolated and trapped in small towns, and two people are still missing as we try to pick up the pieces of this devastating event. The Vermont Strong Store isn’t my website, but I’m trying to help get the word out. T-shirts are for sale for $25. The proceeds go to the Vermont Foodbank to purchase supplies for the isolated towns and cities where people can’t get out of. I would greatly appreciate any word of mouth and all support related to this. My mom, brother, uncle and grand parents are just a few of the people that are trapped and can’t get to town.

Valerie from Connecticut: I’m at work typing this email to you and the Hip2save Readers. At 6am Sunday, my power went out in Connecticut at my home and my dear husband and I are still in the dark – 5 days later. Might have power by next Wednesday 9/7/11. Needless to say, our meals are much different. We purchase food each night at the store to grill, while listening to a small battery operated radio and heading to bed extremely early. Our older son attends college in Williamsburg VA and had to be evacuated by Friday and could not return to campus until mid day Tuesday. He did a road trip to Kentucky to visit new friends. He’s safe now. Our younger son, had to be moved into his new college in Mass; so packing was a challenge. But all and all, we are doing well. It’s amazing how we rely so much on electricity for everything. We have no land line phone service or cable either. I hope all the hip2save readers that were affected by Hurricane Irene are doing well. Would love to know.

Note: If you want to send cash, the American Red Cross will gladly accept your donation for use with people affected by Irene, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes.

If you live in one of the areas that was recently affected by Hurricane Irene, please feel free to share your experience with us. In addition, I encourage you to mention any local non-profit organizations in your area that are in need of assistance.

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58 Hip Readers Commented

  • Dorinne says:

    I’m in RI, we just got our power back on. Some of my friends/family still don’t have power. We also had no water while the power was out because we have well water (which runs on an electric pump). My insurance policy, which supposedly will give us a temporary place to stay if our home becomes uninhabitable (and no water = no sanitation = uninhabitable) would not cover us. They said that they do not cover power outages, so they didn’t care if we had no water but since it was a lack of water caused by lack of power it wasn’t covered. Ditto for the fridge & freezer full of food that was a total loss. I’ve since learned that some companies have a special rider you can purchase to cover power-related issues. Mine never even mentioned it would not cover me or offered any kind of rider. I recommend that you all double check your insurance policies before you get stuck like we did! I’m just thankful that we are safe, the pets are safe, and our power is finally back on!

    • Lisa says:

      I’m glad to hear your power is back on and you are safe. I live in florida now but my parents, 2 sisters and 2 brothers and their familes live in RI. Sadly, my younger sister as of this morning still has no power.

      • Dorinne says:

        Thanks, I hope they’re going to get theirs soon!

        My brother’s neighborhood had power back on within a couple of days but it started going out again last night. It’s been crazy with the on and off, our lights flickered several times last night. We just bought enough food for a couple of days in case it goes out again.

    • Amy says:

      I’m in the same boat. I spent my savings on hotel rooms, restaurants, generator, etc… At firts, my insurance told me they would cover my hotel room bills under loss of use under my insurance plan, but now they are saying they will not. My home has to be uninhabitable for loss of use coverage. I didn’t have any electricity or water for 5 days. How is a home habitable when you have no water? I am going to keep pushing & pushing. I requested & rec’d a copy of my homeowners policy. Now, I am going to demand to know what their definition of uninhabitable is. I am not going to accept the answer from an adjuster that only includes examples. She said…”for example, if a tree fell on your house or something” Then she told me how her insurance doesn’t cover hotel, either. I don’t care about examples or her insurance, I want facts!!!

  • Sarah M says:

    My parents are without power for their 5th day as well. I live in the same town as them and fortunately we had our power. School has been cancelled for the entire week (we were supposed to start Monday the 29th) as well. If I can find a donation address for items needed I will let you know, for now we are all just hoping the clean up keeps progressing and power and services get restored. It’s amazing what people can do when they work together!

  • Heather says:

    One really easy way to help those affected in Vermont: Text FOODNOW to 52000. The Vermont Foodbank will help turn your $10 donation into $60 worth of groceries for local families in need.

  • Gardengirl says:

    First, everyone in the path of this storm are in my prayers.
    Second, some people do not like donating to the Red Cross, so you might want to list your place of worship and address. I have a few friends that will not send $ to RC but will send a check to a church quickly.
    Collin, could you keep this posting at the top like you did when the tornados hit us down here….thanks!

    • LMP124 says:

      First of all I want to disclose that I do not work and/or volunteer for the Red Cross. With that being said, I hope people would consider donating to the Red Cross. My area was hit HARD (NJ)! I lost all my floors, furniture, cabinets, appliances etc. To date, I have not seen nor heard from anyone (including my insurance Co) and although I have not seen them around yet, I am pretty certain that the first people to come knocking on my door will be the Red Cross. Having been through this before (not nearly as bad as this time) the Red Cross always comes around with bleach, mops, brooms, bottled water, etc. It may not be much but every bit helps. Since my first experience with the Red Cross and seeing them at work, my thoughts of that organization have changed and I donate when I am able. I choose my charaties carefully and The Red Cross is on my list. Thanks for reading and please feel free to share this info. God Bless.

      • Gardengirl says:

        I agree. For over 30 years I have donate money and blood regularly to the RC. I was just saying for the people who will not donate to them they will have the option to donate $ to a church for the recovery. I was not trying to say anything negative about them and I’m glad you pointed out how helpful they are. Thanks!

    • Brandy says:

      Gardengirl I too know of a lot of people who won’t donate so the church name suggestion is good. A lot were because the RC charged for things as basic as ice and water after hurricanes.

  • Tina Horn says:

    My heart goes out to all the ones that have been affected by IRENE. Living here in alabama, after april 27, seeing these devistating events makes it so much more real. I am going to gather up items to send to some of these and all if possible (if I get enough) My prayers are going out to you all, young and old alike. My prayers are with you as you start the clean – up phase. We have learned there are many phases you go thru in these events, and this is the first. It will get better, maybe not the same, but better. God Bless you all!! Collin, may be time to get out HIP2HELP tour up and running again. Its ALWAYS Hip2Help!

  • Jennifer says:

    I live about 30-45 minutes from Amsterdam NY. The roads that way were closed including the thruway and it was crazy how busy the roads by me were. They are suppose to have a fair down in a town over from Amsterdam and they had volunteers come help clean out the buildings and everything because they were under water too. The fair was suppose to open Tuesday, but instead is opening today at 5. That just shows the support that the communities are giving with helping the hard hit areas.

  • Dorinne says:

    I know RI isn’t as hard hit as some areas, but there are still lots of people with no food right now because we’ve all had to empty out our fridges & freezers. If anyone is interested in donating, two local food banks are:

    The Full Plate Kosher Food Pantry
    100 Niantic Ave.
    Providence, RI 02907

    donations for the kosher food pantry can also be sent to:
    Congregation Beth David
    102 Kingstown Rd.
    Narragansett, RI 02882

    Please note, if sending food items to the kosher food pantry, they must be certified kosher. They are also in need of toiletries and cleaning supplies for the needy in our community.

    South Providence Neighborhood Ministries
    747 Broad St.
    Providence, RI 02907

    SPNM is a Christian organization and accepts donations of food, clothing, toiletries as well as cash donations.

    (I’m not affiliated with either of these, but they are places where I’ve donated)

  • All4Savings says:

    I just donated all my stockpiling till August 2011 for the hurricane relief.. I’ve seen and been part of the 2005 Hurricane Rita and I know what it is like to loose everything… :(

  • Colleen says:

    We just got power back today and I’m sure the water will start to flow too. We lost the contents of our fridge and freezers but I am thankful that we had somewhere to stay thanks to my employer.

    I still have some baby items that I am going to send along to Amsterdam. I hope it can help someone in need.

    I also read about this library in Wells, NY that lost all their childrens books. I know books aren’t everyones first concern, but if you’re packing things up think about checking out books you don’t need and send them along.

    http://www.katemessner.com/after-irene-a-small-town-adirondack-library-needs-your-help/

  • Gloria says:

    The town of Wilmington, Vermont was particularly hard hit with flooding. Along with lots of businesses and homes, the town offices, police station, and fire station were all flooded and equipment destroyed. They are working on rebuilding roads just so people can get in and out of town. I have family there and am so thankful they are ok. If anyone wants to see pictures and/or donate to help rebuild the town, see: http://www.wilmingtonvermont.us/ Thanks, Collin!

  • MrsRockNRoll says:

    Our family was very lucky. We did go with out power for a couple days but it soon returned. I live in Baltimore Maryland. Since following Hip2save I now have various things I will be donating!!! Thank you Collin!

  • shoehoard says:

    I live in Southern CT, along Long Island Sound. We were lucky to not have any power loss, however, we haven’t had cable or internet for the last 5 days. Unfortunately, until all power is restored in the area, we won’t have cable/internet. My husband started his new job on Wed. and it’s a remote position. He’s been unable to work since we have no internet access. A lot of people in the town I work in, Shelton, CT, still have no power. They’ve had to toss everything in their refrigerators. We had no power in our building on Monday and therefore couldn’t come to work. There are still a lot of downed trees and power lines all throughout CT.

  • Michelle C says:

    Right now Walmart has composition notebooks on sale if anyone is close to Kristin and would like to order, pick up at store and bring to her. Kristin, if you contact me at Michelle_Cuevas at ymail dot com I can even order them and list you as a pick up person (since I live in MS). Thanks and hope you score some other school supply deals for those in need. We just had the reminder of Hurricane Katrina, 6 years ago on on 8/29 and my area is STILL suffering from it. I know how much the volunteers and donations are appreciated.

  • jami says:

    Another site for Donations or even Helping Out in VT as I live close to Stephanie Ackley too but boy were we lucky! Want to get this info out there to others: http://vtresponse.wordpress.com/

  • Sarah says:

    I grew up in Upstate NY (Ballston Spa) I was so sad to see all the destruction :-(

  • Anna says:

    I have lived in different parts of the country and have been through an snowstorms, earthquake, hurricane (Opal), and tornados. Each time I have felt blessed than we survived. My heart goes out to these latest natural disaster victims. One time my family was without electricity for a week. Trying but we survived. I encourage everyone to donate what you can and to your choice of charity. I only wish that hundreds of readers would respond to this posting like they do to other postings. We need to take care of each other. I can now see how having a partnership with Today.com would be beneficial to hit a larger viewership and “advertise” such a worthy cause. Good luck to the lastest victims. I plan on donating as much as I can.

    God bless everyone!

  • Mackenzie says:

    I am from Rutland and have family still there so I have heard about the destruction with roads being covered by the floods. I drive all the time through Mendon to get to Rutland and there is a section of the road missing and the town of Ludlow (another way to get to Rutland) is covered in water. Thanks for posting the information Collin. If Stephanie would like to contact me please let me know.

  • ella says:

    We had earthquake just less than 10 days ago and now hurricane and still no power. It is very sad seeing half of the city closed :( and many of my friends houses and cars are total loss :(

  • I Love VT says:

    My family lives in northern Vermont and we were fortunate but middle/ southern Vermont suffered a lot of damage. Anyone wanting to help can check out this site. http://vtresponse.wordpress.com/

  • Heather says:

    It saddens me not to see Massachusetts listed on here… They got hit really really bad too. Check out youtube videos of Shelburne Falls. NIGHTMARE.

    • Collin says:

      Just added MA to the post…please note that I did not intentionally exclude this state and appreciate you bringing that to my attention.

      • Heather says:

        Thank you! :) I was going to email you when it first happened to see if you were going to do anything to get help to them. Love that you are! So sad to see my home town destroyed by such a storm and know you cant be there to help clean up. (military wife)

      • nl says:

        colin, you work so hard to get all this stuff out. thank you SO much. I live in Upstate NY as well and this is nightmare for so many people. We were very lucky where I am but all around is devastation. I am getting donations together to give. I am happy you put this out there so people could put there links because it’s hard to know all the places to donate. Thank you so much.

  • elizabeth says:

    OMG!! I FEEL SO BAD WITH ALL THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON. KINDA MAKES ME FEEL STUPID FOR ALL THE THINGS THAT I HAVE BEEN COMPLAINING ABOUT HERE IN CALIFORNIA. I HAVE SOME BABY BOY CLOTHES 0-12MONTHS AND SOME ENFAMIL FORMULA (ABOUT 4 NEW CANS) I CAN SEND THIS OUT TO SOMEBODY IN NEED.MY HEART ACHES FOR ALL BUT ESPECIALLY FOR THE LITTLE ONES. JUST GIVE ME YOUR E-MAIL SO WE CAN ARRANGE. MY PRAYERS ARE WITH ALL OD THE PEOLPLE AFFECTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Lauren says:

    We’re in Stratford, CT. I feel very fortunate to have gotten my power back after only 3 days. In that powerless time we had neighbors over to shower (we, luckily, have a gas water heater), and we had been over to neighbors’ houses to eat (we, unluckily, have an electric stove). It’s amazing how a community comes together. Our water was considered contaminated for about half a day and a woman down the street had received a reverse 911 call from the town. Scared that people without power didn’t get the call, she walked around our neighborhood for 4 hours knocking on people’s doors letting them know. The biggest inconvenience for my family was that my kids’ daycare provider lost power too, so the kids couldn’t go to daycare…which meant we couldn’t go to work. That seems small in comparison to the people who lost their homes.

  • Amy Fallas says:

    Thank you so much for posting this Collin. There has been so much distruction all over lately with mother nature. I went yesturday and donated my stockpile and it felt so good! I’m not an “extreme couponer” so it wasn’t a lot, most of it was toys that I’d been saving for Toys for Tots but I’m sure it will make some kids very happy. Thank you to everyone, for your help, and well wishes.

    Today we were notified that Amsterdam is not on the list for FEMA our little community is strong , and I’m hopeful that we will come out of this a stronger one…..we are working with the disabled to help give back. It’s simply beautiful how willing and eager they are to help. I hope that everyone impacted by this storm will get the relief they so badly need. Stay strong and God bless.

  • For Kristin Kilmer-

    I’m in Troy too (posted pics of the storm on my blog the other day). Do you have a blog? I’ve yet to find a cap region coupon blogger other than me and I’d love to read/meet up.

    KK

    • Kristin says:

      Hi KK –

      I do not have a blog, but LOVE the Hip2Save site!!! What is the address to your blog – I love reading them, just can not find the time to create one.

      Kristin

  • Diane says:

    Collin, I would like to donate the Walmart composition notebooks as well for someone to pickup locally. When l looked at the link there was no price listed. I am wondering if with the Today show behind you if you could get Walmart to honor the 5/.40 price posted yesterday. I bet many readers would be happy to pay for the notebooks and have a local charity pick them up and give them to kids who have been flooded. Walmart might be willing to offer some other basic supplies as well.

  • Kristin says:

    If anyone would like to contact me via email about donating items to the Troy area my email address is kpalmer123@nycap.rr.com

    Thank you all again for your kindness!!

  • LMP124 says:

  • Susan says:

    There is an Office Depot coupon for $25 off $50, your Copy & Print Depot purchase, it looks like it includes shipping with UPS or US Post Office. Good until 10/1/11. Split the cost with neighbors or friends who would like to donate or send a package too.

  • Anonymous says:

    No mention of NC or Virginia? Smh…

  • Dawn says:

    I live on the central shoreline of CT, just far enough from the Sound and CT river to not have to worry about flooding. We were fortunate enough that our property and home faired well. There were SO MANY trees that were snapped in half and uprooted all around the state and my small town so we did go without power for 5 days (just got it back a couple hours ago).

    I should have used all the money I have saved while couponing and invested in a generator. This morning I had to dispose of my fridge and freezer contents.. nearly 20lbs of chicken and another 20 in salmon and tilapia.. I feel bad complaining when there were many families whose entire homes were washed out to the Sound, but I did work very hard on that stockpile to feed my kiddos and SO. I’m trying to see the positive side to it though – my entire fridge/freezer got a nice, long, thorough deep cleaning and it was a fuss free way to rid away the Toaster Strudels and ice cream that tempted me all too often =)

  • steph says:

    I am so blessed that we weathered the storm so well…but my church is completely under water and devasted. I had friends whose entire first floor filled to the ceiling with water. There truly is a lot of devastation around. The flooding to my church was actually worse than Floyd. It is so sad….I am going to be working on getting some NJ links of places to help up on my blog. thanks for these collin. I might list some and link back of course. if that is ok. I am surrounded by devastation…everyone needs donations ….it is so sad and crazy. also if you want me to send you my NJ info when I have it up…let me know. You are really awesome and so is your blog!

  • Paula Allen says:

    Hi All I am writing to you from outside of Rutland, VT. As you know Irene has affect many of us including the small but lovely state of Vermont. We are use to snow but we are no use to this type of weather We have many affect by the flooding all over Vermont. We have many towns still days later that are isolated and no way out. The crews here are working hard but it still takes awhile. Words can’t and pictures can’t describe what it really looks like. We have a major need here in Vermont for supplies. Many of these towns have wells and peoples wells are gone. If anyone can donate anything I will speak for everyone we will be gratful and truly appreciate it. We could not thank you enough. If you would like to see pictures please go to WCAX and Vermont Flooding 2011 on facebook. If you would like to donate any supplies please send them to the Chittenden Fire Dept at 266 Chittenden Rd Chittenden Vt 05737.

    • Stephanie A. says:

      thank you for this. yes no state deserves devastation and i dont think any state should be ‘used’ to being flooded out. but this is out first flood in what? 85 yrs?! possibly more. i feel for NC and VA, i do. but this is like texas getting dumped on with 5 ft of snow. we are all in shock as to how much destruction it actually did. so collin didnt mean to leave out any state by any means. i believe she was going with who had already contacted her regarding the hurricane. feel free to post about ‘NC or VA’. its not about ‘leaving people out’ at a time like this.

  • Kate says:

    As I am from the true upstate ny – Plattsburgh, NY (mapquest it – its up there!)- I want to say thank you for all those who are seeing that we were hard hit in the inland regions of NY/VT, etc. Several days leading up to the storm every one seemed to focus on NYC, and we were left in the dust. We had record breaking spring rainfall/snow melting and experienced floods that were never seen by anyone in their lifetime – and then to get hit by Hurricane Irene has really put several individuals who live on Lake Champlain in a tough situation. I was lucky as I live in a wooded area – in a sense, I did not suffer damage via water but several trees were down. I can only imagine what those are individuals are dealing with – as we were not as well prepared as we should have been. My heart goes out to them – as they are my neighbors.

  • Darlene says:

    Thank you sooo much collin, The devastation here in Upstate N.Y. is indescribable. My family is going on Sat. to help at a shelter in one of the hardest hit towns here. Everyhouse and business in the village, except for 4 were condemned. That is just one town of many we are surrounded by. We have alot of farms here. Some farmers have lost their herds, barns, and one farmer lost $500,000.00 worth of silage to feed his 375 cows this winter.That same farmer is cut off from the world, and the milk trucks that supply his paycheck. We have huge, beautiful farm stands in the Schoharie valley, I was just there buying Broccoli last Thurs. They have lost all of their crops. They were barely half way through the season. There is a website called

    farmiemarket.com

    They are taking donations for the farmers that have been devastated by this flooding. I know farmers struggle in the best of times. Something like this can really destroy them and their lively hoods. Also, there are many shelters set up to donate stock piles. I would be happpy to be a go between if people would like to donate to the Schoharie, Cobleskill, and Prattsville area. I have a pile already to go to the shelter in Cobleskill. I just feel helpless and wish I could do more!!!!
    Thanks, Darlene

    • Gardengirl says:

      Darlene,
      Can you post the addresses of the shelters that are taking donations so we can send items?
      I grew up on a dairy farm that we closed about 10 years ago. We had to sell off the cows because the companies around here that process the milk would not give us more $ for our milk. We had not had an increase in over 5 years and the cost to harvest the silage and the hay as well as the labor to oversee our herd was more than we were making. I am the 4th generation on this dairy farm. I would love to be able to send items to the farmers up there.
      Thanks

      • Darlene says:

        Hello Gardengirl, and Thank You!!!!! AS far as I know the way to donate to farmers is farmiemarket.com. There is a facebook page for Prattsville called-

        “Prattsville, NY Natural Disaster Recovery Information”

        and There is another facebook page called-

        “Hurricane Irene Save the Catskills”

        I believe this will give you info. on donating, if not, just ask me, I’ll look back at the comments later.
        Darlene

  • Tricia says:

    Hello from Maine, we have been without power for 4 days. We have not had a lot of flooding, but the power outages have affected a large number. Many people have had no running water and have lost all their frig and freezer foods. In our neighborhood those of us with generators helped out others without. Its a real eyeopener….Starting winter prep early, its going to be a bad one.
    Praying for all who have lost so much.

  • Lynda says:

    Transplant resident of Rotterdam, NY which is 10 mins west of the capital Albany via Troy, NY. Us Northerners know how to cope with mounds of snow but a tropical storm that creates devastating flooding and wind damage is not something the people in this area have experienced in their lifetime. I ask that if you can, please donate something…..if you have any extra household supplies, any extra toothbrushes (I know we all do) please send and donate.

    The following link is to the major newspaper in Albany; Times Union. This lists many sources to donate and help.

    http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Where-to-donate-how-to-help-Irene-s-victims-2149379.php

    • Heather says:

      Great link Lynda, ty! I’m from Rotterdam as well. Only 5 minutes away from us Rotterdam Junction, downtown Schenectady and Scotia got hit really hard. I’m packing some h&b and non perishables for the city mission.

  • Patty says:

    I live in MA and lucikly where I live avoided much damage from the hurricane. The area I live in was hit with a tornado in June and there was so much damamge in areas it looks like it just hit. There were many people hit with the tornado who are still not cleaned up and then got hit with the hurricane. There are many fundraisers going on that have been since June. I hate seeing the destruction, but love seeing communities come together to help and support each other.

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