Sunday, July 13, 2014





Task force set to handle donations


February 20. 2013 1:01AM
Story Tools
PrintPrint | E-MailEMail | SaveSave | Hear Generate QR Code QR
Send to Kindle


NEWTOWN, Conn. — Chris Kelsey is the tax assessor in Newtown, but for the better part of three weeks, his job has been setting up and organizing a warehouse to hold the toys, school supplies and other gifts donated in the wake of the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary school.


Despite the town's pleas to stop sending gifts, Kelsey said trucks have been arriving daily with tokens of support from across the world, some for the families of those killed, others for the children of Sandy Hook, still others for the town.


A lot of the town's normal business is still on pause, he said. I have a couple of people still doing assessor's business, and then if they can, open mail a couple hours too. We're all kind of doing what we can to get this done.


A task force has been set up to coordinate the more than 800 volunteers who have been working to sort the gifts, open mail and answer the thousands of emails and phone calls offering assistance.


The volunteers have begun making a dent in the pile of tens of thousands of teddy bears that stretched to the warehouse ceiling. By last week, they had sorted 30,000 of them into small, medium and large sizes, catalogued them and put them in boxes. They are also separating and boxing piles of crayons, pencils, books and much more.


It's a ton of stuff, and we have an operation just as big for mail as well, Kelsey said.


There are also 26 large moving boxes in the warehouse, each labeled with a victim's name. When a gift comes in specifically addressed to those families, it goes in those boxes. The families have been coming in periodically to empty them.


A toy giveaway was held for all Newtown children before Christmas and some of the remaining toys and stuffed animals have been taken to children's hospitals. The rest will be stored until the town decides where they should go, Kelsey said. He said letters have been sent to each of the victim's families asking for their input. His cellphone is filled with emails from charities across the country.


Everybody has a hand out, he said. We're just beginning that process now. The charities suggested by the families will get the top priority.


The work organizing the warehouse is being done by volunteers from Adventist Community Services, a faith-based group that has done similar work after hurricanes and other natural disasters.




Comments
comments powered by Disqus Commenting Guidelines
Poll
Mortgage Minute


Search for New & Used Cars

Make 
Model
 
Used New All
 

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just the home you want!

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just what you need!

Search Pet Classifieds
Dogs Cats Other Animals



Social Media/RSS
Times Leader on Twitter
Times Leader on Youtube
Times Leader on Google+
The Times Leader on Tumblr
The Times Leader on Pinterest
Times Leader RSS Feeds