The Haverhill YMCA is also chipping in. Two YMCA staff members were at the fire scene a day after the blaze, handing out T-shirts to displaced residents who showed up to see what was left of their apartments.
“We’re trying to ask families specifically what their needs are,” said YMCA Director Tracy Fuller. “One of our little girls (a club member) lived in one of the apartments that was affected.”
Fuller said the Y doesn’t want to duplicate efforts of other organizations, but does wants to support people displaced by the fire.
“We want to help as many families as we can, but we don’t know 100 percent what their needs are at this time,” she said. “We did learn that one family needs diapers and formula, so we’re going to collect whatever is needed. Pentucket Medical (Associates doctors complex) gave the YMCA $500 to assist families in need,” Fuller added.
The Wash-N-Go laundry at 99 Cedar St. in Haverhill is also offering to wash, dry and fold clothes free of charge for families displaced by the fire.
School Superintendent James Scully said more than 50 students in the district were forced from their homes by the tragedy, either through fire or smoke or water damage. He said several city schools organized a Dollar Day for today to help kick off a fundraising campaign to help the families of those students.
Christopher Pienta, whose sister was burned out of her apartment, said a Facebook page called “Helping those affected by the fire in Haverhill, Ma. Wednesday May 7, 2014” was created as a way to reach out to those who would like to help the fire victims.
Pienta said several drop off locations have been set up for donations, including the Salvation Army on Merrimack Street, which is accepting items such as clothing, personal hygiene items, laundry soap, toys and small household items and ask that all monetary donations state in the memo line “Fire Victims of Haverhill.”
Pienta said other drop off locations include the Rehoboth Lighthouse Church at 409 Washington St., and Spero’s Martial Arts Academy, 31 Westville Road, Plaistow.