Leominster fire victims receive aid at United Way’s Westborough warehouse
Westborough – Several of the families impacted by the Nov. 24 fire at the Columbia Hotel in Leominster were recently provided the opportunity to shop at the United Way of Tri-County’s Distribution Services (UWDS) in Westborough.
As members of the United Way of Tri-County’s Distribution Center, the United Way of North Central Massachusetts and the Red Cross, organizers brought the plight of these families to the attention of the United Way of Tri-County and together they made it possible for families to shop for furniture, bedding and other household items they lost in the fire. Enterprise Bank made a generous donation that took care of the portage fee, and the families received all their items at no cost, according to United Way officials.
The families were overwhelmed when they saw how many things they could find from donated inventory at the warehouse.
“We never expected to find so many things that we need. I am so grateful,” Terry Taylor said.
Some of the victims arrived with friends who wanted to help out. Pete Lanza donated his truck to help family friend Jeff Addo transport some large furniture pieces to his home.
“I was happy to do whatever I could for a friend. He’s going through a tough time,” Lanza said.
“I can’t believe the items I found, I appreciate this so much,” said Lakisha Nunez, a mother who was loading up her cart with household items and bedding for her family.
United Way officials, including Kathleen Heintz, director of community investment and Don Mattise, the director of the United Way of Tri-County Distribution Services, noted that they were pleased to have the opportunity to assist the victims.
“On behalf of the United Way of North Central Massachusetts, I am happy to assist these people in rebuilding their lives,” Heintz said.
“We are so pleased we were able to assist our friends at Central Mass. and the American Red Cross to help these people in any way,” Mattise added.
The warehouse receives donated items from Pottery Barn, Bed Bath & Beyond and other community friends and retail stores. The organization allows nonprofits, institutions and municipalities to become members and purchase items at 15 cents to the dollar.
For more information on how to become a member of UWDS, call 888-811-3291, ext. 4810, or visit www.uwotc.org.
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