Cancer patient from southern Maine gives up donation money to help hurricane survivors

Almost two months ago, I wrote a story about Matthew Nelson, a University of Southern Maine and Gorham High School graduate who was diagnosed with cancer and faced a financial crunch between medical costs and student loan debt costs.

Matthew Nelson and his niece.

This weekend, Nelson announced that for the month of November, he’ll re-donate 50 percent of what he receives in donations to those hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy last week in New York and New Jersey.

The 50-percent pass-along will go to the American Red Cross in Greater New York, and Nelson said he’ll post pictures of himself making the extra donations to the “A Fundraiser for Matt Nelson” Facebook page and then tag the donor.

Donations can be made through PayPal using Nelson’s email address of

Other local ways to help out come from the Portland Regional Chamber and member Allen & Cole Moving Systems, which are taking donations of items in need and transporting them down to the areas hardest hit by the hurricane.

Suggested donations include: non-perishable food items, bottled water, first aid kits, coats and clothing in good condition, gloves and hats, new underwear and socks, personal hygiene products, blankets, towels, diapers, work gloves, garbage bags, bubble wrap, cleaning supplies, pet food, etc. Items such as furniture and appliances are not suggested, and opened chemicals and liquids will not be accepted.

Items will be collected between now and Saturday, Nov. 17, at Allen & Coles at 75 Pinetree Industrial Parkway between the workday hours of 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Call 772-2811 with questions, if you have any. Last minute donations can be dropped off there on Nov. 17 itself before noon.

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.