SARANAC LAKE - The Baptist churches in Lake Placid and Saranac Lake have teamed up with Shirley Hosler to collect and deliver needed supplies to downstate victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Hosler, who is locally renowned for her charity, and leaders at the two churches are asking local residents to purchase and donate everything from shovels and work gloves to toilet paper and clothing. The donations will be collected over the next two weeks at both churches.
"We're trying to provide basic stuff that people need," Hosler said.
Jeff Gray, associate pastor at Lake Placid Baptist Church, and Shirley Hosler of Saranac Lake, load bags of clothing bound for victims of Hurricane Sandy into Gray’s car Tuesday night outside of the former Budget Box thrift shop on Church Street in Saranac Lake.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)
"We're helping, as much as we can, those who've been affected by the storm," said Jeff Gray, associate pastor and the Lake Placid Baptist Church. "We've got lists of items that people can get. Shirley's got a place that she's contacted that says these are the things we need, and I've got a place that I've contacted, and these are the things they need. We'll divvy it up, put it on a U-Haul truck, go to point A and then point B, drop it all off and then come back."
Gray said the supplies he collects will go to the Church at the Gateway, a designated relief center on Staten Island. The church's music minister is friends with the new pastor at Lake Placid Baptist Church, Jim Koenig; that's how the two connected.
"What they're asking for is cleanup and construction stuff," Gray said. "They need tools, chainsaws, wheelbarrows, shovels, tarps, drywall, batteries, lumber, contractor bags, shovels, empty boxes, packing tape and things like that."
Hosler is collecting supplies that will go to the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College in Farmingdale, Long Island, and then be delivered to those in need. She's asking for donations of diapers, baby wipes, paper towels, toilet paper, toothbrushes and toothpaste, toys, rain ponchos, flashlights, baby food, cat food and dog food, bottled water, jackets, sweaters hats, gloves, blankets and unopened packages of socks and men's and women's underwear.
Donations of purchased items will be accepted at either the Saranac Lake Baptist Church, located at 490 Broadway, or the Lake Placid Baptist Church, which is at 2243 Saranac Ave., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. The deadline is Dec. 6. The trucks will leave on Dec. 7.
In addition to those drop-off locations, Gray will be in front of Coakley High Peaks Ace Hardware from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, passing out a shopping list to the store's customers and collecting donations.
Hosler will also collect goods at the Enterprise offices all day Friday.
Cash donations are also being sought to cover the cost of renting the trucks and gasoline for the trip down. Those who'd like to contribute can call Gray at 518-578-9036.
Asked why they decided to help out, Hosler said every little bit helps.
"If everybody did a section (of the area impacted by the hurricane), everything would get done," she said. "I've been here 51 years, and people have been very good with all my doings. I go home, and there's three packages of socks to wrap up for Christmas. Another lady left me five bottles of lotion."
"There's something more valuable about giving a tangible item as opposed to money," Gray said. "You can easily text the Red Cross and give 10 bucks, but to be able to give a roll of toilet paper, saws, wheelbarrows, the kinds of things people need - it's just doing good."
In addition to the two Baptist churches, several churches in Lake Placid and churches in the Adirondack Baptist Association have been invited to be a part of the relief effort.
Contact Chris Knight at 518-891-2600 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.