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Joshua Thomas
Lindsey Byrne moves items for flood victims Saturday.

Joshua Thomas
Ruth Ellen Berninger and Jessica Ingham, of St. John's Baptist Church of Valatie, help to move and inventory flood-related donations.

Joshua Thomas
The volunteer group helping Saturday was, from left, Clyde Miers, Chris Miers, Lindsey Byrne, Cyndi Tracy, Samantha Downing, Ruth Ellen Berninger, Jessica Ingham, Eric Walters, Alex Shields and Pastor Gail Adamoschek.


Volunteers continue to make a world of difference

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - Updated: 9:25 PM


C-S-E Editor

PALATINE BRIDGE -- On Saturday, local volunteers and members of St. John's Baptist Church of Valatie spent a full day sorting through donated items for flood victims in a West Grand St. storage unit, inventorying and sorting items, taking them from boxes and displaying them prominently.

When spring came, some water seeped into the storage facility, making the air damp, "so we're taking things out, exposing them to air," said Volunteer Coordinator Gail Adamoschek, who also serves as a local Pastor and Co-Chair of the Fulton Montgomery Long Term Recovery Group.

Adamoschek has been working with the DRRO, who have been canvasing trying to find "every last person that needs help", in Fort Plain. As a result, they'll often bring people to the storage unit to take necessary items, from big furniture such as vanities and doors, to items as simple, but necessary, as blankets.

As flood affected people are brought in to view items, "now, they can see them better," said Adamoschek, noting that people are now provided options. "There's a choice," she explained. "A person can see something and say 'i like that one.'"

She said that donations are frequently coming in and going out. Recently, a full tractor trailer worth of items was delivered, and just in the past month or so, a ton of items have been donated to meet local need.

Adamoschek stated, "the volunteers are immensely helpful." She said that if she had to go through these items by herself, it'd take ten times the time. "The man hours are great, because they can get this done all in one day," she said.

Adamoschek continued, "we always need volunteers coming in. We really have a huge need for skilled volunteers." Currently, flood victims are working to establish their homes, and Adamoschek said that as that happens, people will notice small things, such as yard work that needs to be done, and volunteers can provide much-appreciated assistance.

Even just helping with small tasks, she said, brings the homeowner back to a place of comfort "so that as the whole region comes into springtime, everybody can see beauty and fresh grass. It's the little extra things that say, 'we've recovered.'"

Adamoschek said that one of the next projects she'll work on will be to coordinate the area's religious leaders to meet and network with the goal of putting an immediate relief plan in place in case of another disaster. Because local churches have been instrumental in helping with disaster recovery, Adamoschek said she feels churches can come together to go one step further, possibly gathering necessary items to begin distributing immediately in the case of a future disaster, eliminating the time between the incident and the collection of items for distribution. WIth a plan and recovery items already in place, the local churches can meet needs right in the moment.


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