‘Phone’s ringing off the hook’: Helping hands for Leominster coming from far and wide

LEOMINSTER, Mass — While torrential flooding devastated Leominster, forcing some residents to become marooned from their neighbors, there is no shortage of helping hands reaching out.

A steady stream of folks filed in and out of Ginny’s Helping Hands Wednesday, donating everything from clothing, food, diapers, hygiene products, even hand-delivering checks to make sure folks are covered.

“‘We started getting them as soon as the doors opened at 10 o’clock today. The phone has been ringing off the hook with people asking how they can help,” said Brandon Robbins, executive director of Ginny’s Helping Hands.

Deanna Cormier’s basement was still flooded but she came out in the rain Wednesday to donate what she could to the food pantry and thrift store that’s been operating for more than 40 years in town.

“I was born and raised in Leominster. So was my husband and we don’t live in town anymore but this is our community and the only way we’re going to get through this is together,” Deanna Cormier as she unloaded items. ”It’s the best I can do. I feel awful. Friends are affected. It’s tough.”

Amy Gonzalez has a hole in her roof and her basement is flooded but still made the effort to donate.

“My neighborhood is underwater and we were more fortunate than most, so we brought down whatever we could. Blankets, food, toiletries,” Gonzalez.

Ginny’s Helping Hands says they’ve never seen anything like this before.

“At some point, we’re gonna need to help them as well with finding shelters and we have for many years provided emergency shelters for families.”

Mayor Dean Mazzarella says the town has set up a relief fund with the United Way for those who can donate.

“One way you can help, patronize those businesses. Bring your business to these businesses. Most of them didn’t have any insurance,” said Mazzarella.

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