As assistance for Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino County fire evacuees continues to pour in – truckload after truckload – some shelters are beginning to turn away donations due to oversupply on some items and limitations of space. The challenge is to match the items donated with the specific needs of fire victims.
Petaluma pub owners at Jamison’s Roaring Donkey, with the help of Maguire’s Irish Pub, have committed their businesses to the coordination and delivery of the right items to the right people.
The space inside the Roaring Donkey has become a pop-up clearinghouse of sorts, where items received are organized by type. Over a dozen volunteers move at a quick pace to keep up with the deliveries from cars and trucks arriving continuously at the Kentucky Street bar. Once sorted, items are delivered to particular shelters where a matching need has been communicated.
Volunteers at the Roaring Donkey say they’re currently overloaded with donated clothing, which requires lots of volunteer-power to sort. There is, however, a great need for new items: new-in-the-package underwear (including teen bras), Ziplock bags of collected new toiletries, plastic bins (for use as “footlockers”), glass-free packaged food, and gift cards to fill in the gaps. Volunteers are needed to organize donations.
“Every time we empty one (truck), we end up getting more,” says volunteer, Tara Lanatti, a student and instructional aide, who learned of the need for volunteers after driving by the pub.
School supplies, being stored at Maguire’s pub, are delivered to Xandex Inc.’s office space at 1360 Redwood Way, where they are organized by the Active 20-30 Club in partnership with Petaluma-based Mentor Me program.
Megan McClelland, Active 20-30 Club volunteer and counselor at Petaluma High School, beamed as she told of the hundreds of new backpacks that arrived from individuals as well as from Camelbak and Jansport. The drop-off on Redwood Way has been visited by “an insane amount of people,” she says. “It’s awesome community here.”
Active 20-30 Club volunteers say they are well stocked with pencils and pens, but there’s a need for three-ring binders, graphing calculators, lunch boxes, pencil pouches and backpacks.
Roaring Donkey co-owner, Brian Tatko, who could only stop briefly while carrying a large box of delivery-bound donations, said they will be accepting goods on Saturday and Sunday until about 3 or 4 p.m. at which point they have to tend to their regular business as a bar, music venue and gathering place.
How to help: Jamison’s Roaring Donkey is located at 146 Kentucky St. in Petaluma. The Active 20-30 Club will be accepting donations at Xandex at 1360 Redwood Way in Petaluma on Saturday, October 14 until 2 p.m. Please check The Roaring Donkey’s Facebook page and Petaluma 20-30 Club’s Facebook page for updates. Keep in mind that needs are constantly changing. For more ways to support fire victims, click here.
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