PLATTSBURGH — The North Country Mission of Hope is looking for volunteers to offer their time and vehicles to transport school equipment to its warehouse in Peru the morning of Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5.
St. Peter's Church has sold the former Seton Academy building at 23 St. Charles St. — which, prior that, housed St. Peter's School — so now the mission has an opportunity to clear out desks, chairs, tables and supplies which it can then send to those in need.
"We’re talking, easily, probably seven or eight pickup truckloads of items," said Sister Debbie Blow, the mission's executive director.
Even those without a truck or trailer are welcome to help.
"It's a good day to do it because some people don’t have to work for election day," Blow said.
"Hopefully there will be enough people to get the task done in a couple of hours."
Blow said possible destinations for the mission's next container of supplies include Puerto Rico; Ghana; El Paso, Texas; New Mexico; or Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.
Items obtained from the former Seton Academy building are school-oriented, but the mission also has a lot of medical supplies.
"Where the shipment, or more than one, go will depend on who needs what at the other end," Blow said.
Blow brought up how the mission's seeds were planted while she was the Charles Street building's principal when it was St. Peter's School.
"That’s when we first accepted some children that had escaped from Nicaragua during their civil war."
Those seeds were then nurtured and fostered when she moved on to Seton Catholic as campus minister and high school theology teacher.
The mission has since grown into its own space on State Route 22 in Peru today.
"We’re very grateful to Msgr. (Dennis) Duprey for giving us the opportunity to go in," she said of the St. Peter's Church pastor.
Over the years, the mission has benefited from other similar opportunities, including going through the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base hospital, which yielded several tractor-trailer loads of equipment that were shipped to Nicaragua.
To this day, some of that equipment is still being used in the country's medical facilities.
More recently, several local doctors have retired and allowed the mission access to some of their equipment and supplies, and High Peaks Dental just donated excess materials.
"People don’t realize that we give out a lot of stuff locally," Blow added.
"We have people using walkers, wheelchairs, hospital beds that we’ve acquired through donation and we in turn have donated them to local people in need."
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HOW TO HELP
If you would like to volunteer your time, a pickup truck or trailer to help transport school equipment from the former Seton Academy building to the North Country Mission of Hope's warehouse in Peru, contact Sister Debbie Blow at 518-570-0560 or email@example.com or Jimmy Dumont at 518-651-6009.
Volunteers should arrive at the former Seton Academy building at 23 St. Charles St. in Plattsburgh at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5.
The Mission of Hope's warehouse is located at 3452 State Route 22 in Peru.