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Shower Trailer Project
‘roll out’ due June 9

ONEIDA — Although a Shower Trailer for disaster relief volunteers is nearly complete, the project needs about $8,000 more to get it paid for.

Money will be accepted at a "Roll Out" scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 551 Sayles St. Checks can be made out to St. Paul’s UMC — with Shower Trailer Project on the memo line — and mailed to the church at 551 Sayles St., Oneida, NY 13421, Attn: Shower Trailer Project.

You can see photos of the project on www.oneidastpaulsumc.org and click on "Shower Trailer Project."

Volunteers and donors from all over Central New York have stepped up to complete the "extremely unique and large-scale project," organizers said. The team transformed a 44-foot semi trailer into a mobile shower facility for disaster relief volunteers. The shower will be temporarily stationed in Middleburgh in Schoharie County, but will be able to travel all over the country in the wake of natural disasters.

The multi-community mobile shower facility is almost complete and is expected to be in use in Middleburgh by June 12.

The cost of the project was nearly $35,000 and the group is still in need of about $8,000 to cover materials that have yet to be paid for.

Sinks and final trim work are being installed.

Many supplies were donated, such as the tile floor donated by Smith’s Decorating in Oneida, and the trailer donated by CT Express in Durhamville. Among the many donors are The Gorman Foundation; the Oneida Rotary Club; and many of the churches in the Upper New York Conference.

June 9 at the ‘Roll Out’ organizers will recognize donors as well as offer tours of the facility. Then, the trailer will ceremoniously "roll out" to head towards its first stop in Middleburgh where disaster volunteers are working on flood relief.

On its way to Middleburgh, the shower trailer will make a brief stop at Earlville United Methodist Church for a fun fundraising event. The Change the World Walkathon is a 3-mile walk to raise awareness and funds for this project at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 10. For more information on the walkathon or to register, visit http://www.epfumc.org or contact Joelle Faulks at joellefaulks@gmail.com or 569-2173

A mobile shower facility is a critical need for the Northeast. Greg Forrester, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Coordinator for the Northeast Jurisdiction said, "This is an important project and we can’t wait for it to be completed. The closest shower trailer is located in Georgia. There are none in the entire Northeast."

In the wake of a disaster, many churches, community centers, and organizations step up to house volunteer crews. While many of these organizations can house and feed volunteers, few, if any, have the capacity to provide shower facilities. This seemingly insignificant detail can delay critical relief weeks or even months.

Currently, the main volunteer center for Hurricane Irene relief is located in Middleburgh, in Schoharie County. The only showers available to volunteers are one janitor’s closet where volunteers use a showerhead attached to the janitor’s sink and one garden hose outfitted outside.

Hurricane Katrina made national news for months and even years after the devastation of the Gulf Coast. What many don’t know is that similar circumstances exist in New York State, especially in the Southern Tier.

There are 42,000 applicants from New York State for post-flood FEMA assistance and only a portion of those applicants will receive funds. Many are living in homes in desperate need of major repairs but cannot afford to rebuild or repair. Many volunteers from across the state and the country have stepped up to help.

If you would like more information on the project or any of the above events, contact Abbey Dieteman at 264-3410 or abbey.woodcock@gmail.com or visit www.oneidastpaulsumc.org and click on "Shower Trailer Project."

RomeSentinel.com

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