Boilermaker Blog

Funny the Way It Is

It looked like 2012 was going to be a mild hurricane season, even though we were up to ‘R’ for named storms only two (tropical storms, Beryl& Debby) had made landfall in the U.S.; both were relatively benign.
Traditionally November 30th marks the official end of the hurricane season as water temperatures cool so it looked like we were going to skate through.
Then along came a cruel, cruel, pre-Halloween trick named Sandy blasting through the densely populated Northeast. Floods, fires, winds, and death- for many experiencing Sandy’s wrath it must have felt like the beginning of the apocalypse.
It seems incredible that this event occurred less than a week ago- it feels so much longer and I’m not there!
Current estimates are that 30,000 to 40,000 people are going to be long-term homeless (as a measuring stick that would be 63% of the population of Utica).
We aren’t talking about lack of electric power; we’re talking about no light switch because there aren’t any walls!
Here’s where we come in.
The Boilermaker is currently in the midst of filming a documentary chronicling our thirty five year history. The producer, Bill Keeler, had to go down to Manhattan this week for an interview so he had an idea.
Rather than driving downstate in a car, how about a truck?
How about a really big truck?
How about a really big truck filled with supplies destined for our devastated downstate neighbors?
What do they need? I put it in the category of stuff you really need but are never excited to buy at the store. A short list:
Garbage bags (big ones), cleaning products, mops, brooms, masks, baby food, diapers, batteries (especially the cherished ‘D’ size) cold medicine, feminine products, blankets, socks, underwear, toilet paper, dog food, gift cards to places like Home Depot and Lowes.
Hold back on the clothes donations (except what is listed).
If there is one thing that this community is known for is its giving spirit- it glows Heart Run& Walk Weekend, it shines Boilermaker Sunday, and it burns brightly as this community (that’s not the most affluent) supports a cause.
It’s time to light that candle, or should I say (hopefully) bonfire, once again.
On Tuesday, Wednesday, (8:00 am-8:00 pm) and Thursday (8:00am-3:00 pm) of this week you can drop off donations at Carl’s Furniture, 801 Wagner Street, Utica. There will be someone at the truck (that Carl’s is offering for free) to take your donation.
Think about this- in three weeks it will be Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday) when we will sit at the table with family and friends.
Meanwhile some living downstate have burned their dining room table to simply keep warm. (Hence the title of this blog ‘Funny the Way It Is’, a song performed by Dave Matthews, speaking to the dramatically different experiences of different people at the same moment.)
If anything the Boilermaker’s core mission is about promoting positive change and making a difference in people’s lives.
Here is a chance for you to feel good about making someone you don’t even know feel good.
Sort of funny isn’t it?

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