Young children bring in their stuffed animals to donate, along with lots of shoes. (Photos provided)
Young children bring in their stuffed animals to donate, along with lots of shoes. (Photos provided)
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Bishop Maginn High School is accepting donations to help families affected by the Myrtle Avenue fire. The community has provided a steady stream of clothes, shoes and diapers and much more to help the more than 40 people impacted by the blaze last Thursday night.

“When I first heard about the fire, I said let’s do something,” said Sue Silverstein Gilligan, director of Community Service and Campus Ministry for Maginn. “I said we might as well be a donation site.” 

Bishop Maginn will be open all week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for anyone willing to donate. 

In addition, Capital Region Organizations Active in Disaster (CROAD) -- a coalition of local non-profit organizations, government agencies, and community partners involved in disaster response and recovery -- will host a multi-agency resource center event on Wednesday at the high school from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Agencies including the City of Albany, Albany County Department of Social Services, the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Fidelis Care, HATAS, NY Connects, and the United Way of the Greater Capital Region, will be represented among many others.

Any resident affected by the fire, regardless of whether they have received Red Cross assistance to date, is welcome to attend the multi-agency resource center event for additional support.

Nancy Studebaker, who lives locally, heard about the donation site and has been bringing boxes of clothes over the past few days. Every time she visits, she asks what more she can bring and how she can help: “I heard and I just wanted to help,” she said. 

That’s the response Silverstein said she’s been getting from the start. After they began collecting donations, Bishop Maginn alumni, families of current students and members of the community have all come forward asking how they can help. The response has been beautiful, Silverstein said.

“People are good. People say that people aren’t good but people are. The world is a good place, and this community and the Bishop Maginn community always comes through.” 

Monetary donations can be made online at the AVillage website, www.avillageworks.org. via PayPal. Please also email the office manager at rdefelice@avillage.org to note the money is for those affected by the fire. Checks made out to AVillage…, Inc. with Myrtle Avenue Fire Victims in the comment line can be sent to: AVillage…, Inc, P.O. Box 10152, Albany, N.Y., 12201. Cash and check donations also can be dropped off at the AVillage..., Inc. offices at 3 Lincoln Square and the SEFCU branch at 200 S. Pearl St.

A Block at a Time, Mansion Neighborhood Association, Grand Street Community Arts, Bishop Maginn High School and AVillage…., Inc., are sponsoring the collection process.