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edge staff writer


Superstorm Sandy is no match for Winterport's Fran Folnsbee

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Mainer helps hurricane victims

BANGOR - Superstorm Sandy may have passed Maine by, but residents in New York and New Jersey were still dealing with its aftermath weeks after it made landfall. New York native Fran Folnsbee, who now lives in Winterport, couldn't stand to watch the devastation on her TV any longer and decided to stock up on supplies and collect donations to drive down to her family and others in need in the Long Island area.

"I was going to go down just to bring my parents gas," Folnsbee said. "Then I figured if I was going, I might as well bring something with me and looked into getting a U-Haul."

The cost to rent the U-Haul was a bit more than this hairdresser expected, so she reached out to one of her clients who works for United Way.

"She goes, 'How much do you need?' and I told her $200 and a $100 security deposit, and she said, 'Done.' "

For a day and a half, Folnsbee parked her U-Haul outside of Target in Bangor, where she collected everything from clothing to dog food. As people dropped off donations she would check them off a list of needed items she was given by the Red Cross in New York.

"When I pull in I have everything organized - sweatshirts, diapers, backpacks - so when I get there I've got a team to help me unload," Folnsbee explained. "They'll make sure these people get these things right away."

Non-perishables and paper goods were also desperately needed by those affected by Sandy.

"My sister went almost a week without electricity," she said.

Folnsbee and her husband hit the road last Thursday and knew they'd have to return in time for the start of the work week. But those few days is all Folnsbee needed to deliver the donations from Maine and check in on her parents and sister.

"People are really showing the goodness of their hearts," she said. "I was a flight attendant during 9/11 and I couldn't do anything. And when I saw the woman on TV who lost her two kids after they were ripped from her arms during the storm, I knew I just had to do something."

And thanks to the United Way, Target and the generosity of many Mainers, Folnsbee was able to make that reality come true.


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