GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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January 30, 2013

Aiding city fire victims

During the second day of a clothing and household necessities drive, about 25 people came by Wednesday to donate items in large shopping bags and even televisions (one carried in by City Council member Steve LeBlanc) and money, bringing all to a room set aside for this purpose at Cruiseport.

On its first day, Tuesday, one organizer, Gloucester City Councilwoman Sefatia Romeo Theken said there was a steady stream of people donating all day. And the Second Glance store has been “bombarded by furniture” donations, she added. The room at Cruiseport, arranged by Sheree DeLorenzo, was filling up rapidly on Wednesday, with many items organized neatly on long tables while other items hung on racks and some waited to be sorted in bags and boxes on the floor.

The drive started out dedicated to helping victims of the recent Perkins Street fire, Romeo Theken said, but several more fires followed across the city, so the drive is now aimed at helping those victims as well.

The families will be contacted individually to come to Cruiseport to browse and gather items they might need — from brand new children’s clothing to battery-powered blenders, full sets of dishes, glassware, blankets, quilts, towels and sheet sets to men’s belts, women’s purses, new packages of underwear, new toddler clothing sets and soft bathrobes. City Council member Melissa Cox was carefully sorting and arranging some of those donations Wednesday afternoon as Theken contacted families and stayed in touch with Second Glance by phone. Once they have selected what they need, the rest will be moved to Second Glance, and people can continue to select items from there for their needs.

People wishing to donate to help the victims can continue to bring items to Second Glance, located on Pond Road, where a crisis expert there will help the fire victims individually to select precisely what they need to restart a new household.

Monetary donations should be sent to the Gloucester Fund, while gift card donations should be given directly to City Council President Jackie Hardy, the other organizer of this drive, and she will give forward them to the families in need. To contact Second Glance, call 978-283-4298.

Allegra Boverman is the chief photographer and a staff writer for the Gloucester Daily Times. She can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3448 and at aboverman@gloucestertimes.com

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