POTSDAM — A volunteer group that assembles and distributes “comfort bags” recently delivered more than 40 bags for patients in the cancer centers in Potsdam and Ogdensburg.
Heather Young and Stephanie Gebo delivered the bags, including two “special drop-offs” to one woman undergoing chemotherapy and a second woman who is also battling cancer.
Northern New York Gives Back started in 2014 when Ms. Young’s mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer. Ms. Gebo was the first recipient when the group started distributing comfort bags to dialysis patients.
Since they began the effort, the Northern New York Gives Back group has created comfort bags that have been distributed to cancer, dialysis, ALS and cystic fibrosis patients, military members, children in the hospital and foster care, and the elderly. The bags contain a variety of items such as toiletries, fleece socks, fleece blankets and crossword puzzles.
Ms. Young said they couldn’t continue their effort without support from the community. A number of individuals, businesses and groups each sponsored a bag.
“Each one of you is valuable and we couldn’t have done it without you,” she said.
The supporters included Chad Green, Donaldson Seymour Funeral Home, Karen Johnston, Mystic Rays, Sue Stubbs, Allison Daoust Kormanyos, Amanda Denny, Pattie Young-Topa, Kristan Laramay, Elaine Kessner, Joanne White Dumers, Pattie and Dale Olson, Cheryl LaBarge, Lisa Young, Vera and John Hanna, Cynthia Brockway, Junior Mariano, Lori Collins of Hairitage House, and Drs. Neil and Joanne Cichetti.
Some supported the efforts in honor of loves one — O’Brien’s/Spud Run in honor of Shaun “Spuds” O’Brien; Nancy Richards in honor of her brother, Neil Karlberg; and Maria Mulcare in honor of her brother, Paul.
Mary Young and Tricia Crites provided hats and blankets, and Bobbi Jo O’Donnell from the Morristown Athletic Boosters provided items to put in the bags. Kimberly Mitchell Damon made more than 40 masks as well.
“Thank you Stephanie Gebo for the special themed items you contribute to the bags and for being my partner in delivering them. We appreciate each and every one of you. We are better together,” Ms. Young said.
To join the Northern NY Gives Back Facebook group and sponsor one or more giving back projects, visit http://wdt.me/PQyCoM.