Continuing to care

STOCKTON – It was the Nestle Purina Pet Care Company’s turn up at bat Wednesday morning as part of the United Way’s 11th annual Community Caring Week in northern Chautauqua County.

For the day’s event, volunteers headed down to the Stockton Fire Department to help clean out, organize and inventory a disaster services trailer owned by the American Red Cross. The two helpers sported white T-shirts that said “Live United,” the motto for United Way.

“We signed up to volunteer ahead of time, then the (Human Resources) Department stuck us together for the project,” Tilley said.

“That’s OK, we like each other!” Shaw joked with her fellow volunteer.

The disaster trailer was filled with blankets, cots, crutches and toiletries for use during communitywide emergencies.

Red Cross volunteer Charlie Meder was on hand to assist the volunteers as they worked on the trailer. Meder said he was thankful for all the hard work they were putting into the cleanup and inventory.

“I really appreciate everything they were doing to help organize the trailer and make sure how much of everything we have in the trailer,” he said. “This will help us the next time we have to set up an emergency shelter for people during some natural disaster or another event.”

Meder also said the disaster trailer was last used during flash flooding in the village of Brocton toward the end of June.

“No one needed to use the shelter we set up, so we didn’t need to use any of the supplies,” he said.

Shaw said she started working at Purina a little over two decades ago. Tilley said she started two and a half years ago there.

Volunteers from other organizations will help with projects throughout the county until Friday. Anyone interested in volunteering this week can contact the United Way Office in Dunkirk at 366-5424. United Way is always looking for volunteers year-round. Those interested can visit for more information.

Comments may be sent to