Merrimack Valley Gas-Related Fires: How to Help Impacted Residents

Local community groups are collecting money and items to donate to affected areas. (WHAV News photograph of the Merrimack River by Jay Saulnier)

The Merrimack Valley is coming together to support neighbors in need after gas-related fires devastated areas of Andover, North Andover and Lawrence. Red Cross-sanctioned shelters were set up overnight Thursday at local schools and community centers, with dozens of first responders from across the state headed to the area to offer mutual aid to help direct traffic and keep residents safe while power remains shut off. Joseph's and Market Basket were among those helping to feed first responders across the area.

Haverhill-based Joseph's donated food to areas in need. (Jack Roy photograph)

WHAV 97.9 FM has compiled a list of ways to give—and receive—help if needed. This list will be continually updated as the region recovers from the incidents that claimed the life of a Lawrence 18-year-old and injured several others, including an Andover firefighter.

AREA SHELTERS

  • Andover: Andover Senior Center and Youth Center at 30 Whittier Court
  • North Andover: North Andover High School at 430 Osgood St.
  • Lawrence: Parthum Elementary School at 255 East Haverhill St.
  • Lawrence: Arlington School at 150 Arlington St.
  • Lawrence: The St. Alfio Society invites first responders to eat and recharge at their location at 20 Common St.
  • Methuen: The MSPCA at Nevins Farm, 400 Broadway, is arranging shelter for displaced animals. Call 978-687-7453 x6101 for more information.
  • Haverhill: Emmaus has offered mutual aid to local shelters as an overflow resource if the need arises. Mayor James J. Fiorentini plans to open the Welcome Street Citizens Center should it become necessary.

GET HELP IF YOU NEED IT

  • Methuen's Spa Nijoli, 116 Pleasant Valley St., provides free wash and blowdry services to those who make appointments before Sept. 20 by calling 978-682-9772.
  • Haverhill's Stepping Stones Family Services is taking appointments for families to shop their closet for diapers, wipes, formula and clothing. Call Jill at 603-380-5886.
  • U-Haul is offering 30 days of free self-storage for displaced families at locations in Danvers, Salisbury, Woburn, Manchester, N.H., and Nashua, N.H. Visit UHaul.com to find the location nearest you and call for details.
  • Haverhill-based makerspace Creatorpult, 143 Essex St., Suite 211, is offering free co-working space to locals on a first-come, first-served basis. Call 978-361-3113. Additional co-working space is available at the UMass iHub, 2 Merrimack St., Haverhill.
  • Bradford Place Café, 151 South Main St., is providing free breakfast and coffee to displaced residents. They have free Wi-Fi available.
  • Starbucks on Haverhill’s Route 125 is open until 10 p.m. Friday to provide displaced residents with free Wi-Fi and a complimentary tall coffee or tea.
  • The Peddlers Daughter in downtown Haverhill is opening their doors--and offering soup, coffee and tea--to local first responders.
  • Uber is offering up to $50 in free ride credit to those traveling to and from shelters with the promo code MASHELTER

HOW TO DONATE TO OTHERS

  • An official Essex County Community Foundation Fund has been established to accept monetary donations. Donations are accepted via ECCF.org/lawrenceemergencyfund or by calling 978-777-8876.
  • Authorize a $10 donation to the Red Cross by texting REDCROSS to 90999
  • The Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce's Foundation Fund accepts monetary donations by mail at 264 Essex St., Lawrence, MA 01840.
  • GoFundMe.com is compiling verified donation campaigns in one place on their website, https://www.gofundme.com/cause/massachusetts-gas-explosions
  • TD Bank's Charitable Foundation, in partnership with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, have established the Greater Lawrence Relief Fund. The organization is starting off the fund with a $50,000 contribution, and invites locals to donate online through unitedwayconnect.org.
  • The Merrimack Valley Hope Mission is accepting donations of cases of bottled water, baby formula, diapers and wipes at 9 Cherry Tree Lane, Groveland, before 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15. For more information, call Don Jarvis at 978-914-8720.
  • Zingales Realty is collecting pillows at their Methuen office, 232 Pleasant St., 2nd floor, to be given to the Parthum School shelter in Lawrence.
  • Al’s Lock Service in Plaistow, 79 Plaistow Road, accepts donations of food and other relief items on weekdays between 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

If you are a local resident or community group with an outreach effort to share, please email [email protected] to be added to the list.

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