Freemasons from the Shepherd Salem Lodge No. 78 of Naugatuck are organizing a massive donation drive to provide assistance to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
“We’re trying to step up and give back in any way we can,” said Dave Hughes, lodge master. “They have an immediate need, and we wish we could make deliveries tomorrow, but we need a little more time.”
The lodge, which was established in 1851 and is the largest fraternal organization in Naugatuck with close to 100 members, has a mission of giving back to the community and providing for people in need, said Hughes, owner of Rockwell Studio photography. He photographs for the yearbooks at Oxford High School and Great Oak Middle School.
Over the next week, members will collect items (see list below) at Rockwell Studio, 191 Church St., Naugatuck, or at the Naugatuck Fire Department, 41 Maple St.
The freemasons are looking for donations as well as people to volunteer to help load trucks or possibly drive into the New York and New Jersey areas to drop off the donated items; the lodge is also looking for a box truck. Call Hughes at his studio during weekdays at 203.729.5959 for more information.
Two lodge officers and Naugatuck Police Department members, Lt. Brian Newman and Detective Chip Schofield, are asking local stores if they can set up outside of the stores to collect donations.
The lodge is also reaching out to churches and parishes for donations and will pick them up before they deliver them next Sunday, Nov. 11. And members will reach out to Masonic lodges in Staten Island, N.Y., to help them find locations to drop off the donations.
The lodge is working out several details, such exactly where it will deliver items and how it will get fuel to come back to Connecticut.
The following is a list of items needed:
Baby products – Formula, diapers, wipes
Wet wipes/hand sanitizers
Generators- any size