Fairport neighbors collecting donations for Pines of Perinton fire victims

FAIRPORT, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Pines of Perinton fire has motivated the community to help in one way or another.

Soon after news broke that a fire displaced at least 65 people, many residents, like Susie Scoppa and Chelsey Zawadski, took charge and set up donation centers, or simply took time out of their day to lend a helping hand.

News10NBC’s Jenny Ly found out how to help the fire victims.

“I heard this morning that there was a fire, and I know many of the people at the pines, so I decided I needed to do something,” Scoppa said. “I went to mass, went to Walmart and here’s my first load."

Scoppa stopped by the Perinton Community Center, which served as the shelter for the fire victims Tuesday morning. Her daughter is a teacher at Brooks Hill Elementary School, where she says many of the children of the fire attend.

“This is Fairport—this is what we do. We take care of each other. It’s a huge town that acts like a village," Scoppa said.

Just a few miles down the street from the Perinton Community Center is another popup donation site run by business owner Chelsey Zawadski.

“[The fire] displaced so many families, many of them with small children, many who are very low-income. A lot don’t even speak English,” Zawadski said. “There are a lot of refugees located in the Pines at Perinton who don’t have anybody else to help them out…no family… nothing, so I had an empty space and figured why not utilize it instead of it just sitting empty.”

Zawadski is the owner of The Hive, which serves as a co-working place in Fairport. Like Scoppa, Zawadski wants to help.

“I personally don’t have a connection to any of the families that live there other than Fairport’s my home, too," Zawadski said. "It does take a village, so if we can be a little part of their village and help them get back on their feet a little bit, I’ll do what I can.”

But, the help goes beyond these two women. Even strangers in the Village of Fairport are coming together for the victims because it truly does take a village.

“Here’s a very good thing… as I was shopping, a woman said, ‘What are you shopping for?’ I said, ‘the people who were in the fire.’ She reached into her pocket and handed me money. She just looked at me and said, ‘buy more.’ That’s what we’re about,” Scoppa added.

Donations can be dropped off at 1387 Fairport Dr., Suite 1000D. The space will be open till 9 p.m. After-hours deliveries can be dropped off at the front door. Zawadski said what is most needed at the moment is men’s clothing, toiletries, menstrual and self-care products.