LONGMEADOW—Responding to the need for diapers, wipes, tampons, pads and incontinence items among area people in need, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and Temple Beth El are conducting another Longmeadow Loves Donation Drive through October.
“We’ve heard from our partners that they’re seeing an increase in demand, and food pantries seeing increased demand have told us they don’t have space for personal care items as they try to keep up with demand for food,” said the Rev. Charlotte H. LaForest, St. Andrew’s rector and one of the founders of the drive. “Public schools and public libraries are another place where people might seek out this kind of assistance. They were completely shut down last spring, and though some school districts have reopened in a reduced capacity, supplying these products often falls to the nurses to supply out of their own pocket. We would love to help supply schools and libraries and are exploring partnerships in these areas.”
There is a donation bin at St. Andrew’s behind the church near the back parking lot throughout October, and there will be an information booth and collection site at the St. Andrew’s Annual Pumpkins and Pets on the Hill on Oct. 10.
Anyone who brings a Longmeadow Loves donation to Pumpkins and Pets will receive a free raffle ticket for the raffle basket.
People can support the project also by shopping online at tgt.gifts/longmeadowloves.
“Different types of products needed are listed on the Target registry,” LaForest said. “We’ve chosen to list primarily Target brand on the registry because they are the best value, but any brand would be great.”
Contributions to the May Longmeadow Loves Donation Drive exceeded expectations with donors from throughout Western Massachusetts. “Anyone with the link can order from the registry, so participation is easy, and those who preferred to make a monetary donation sent checks to the church,” LaForest said.
In May more than 50,000 individual items were donated. That included 338 packs of wipes, 13,758 diapers, 6,648 tampons, 3,343 pads and 2,531 incontinence items. The total estimated value was more than $9,000.
Recipients from the drive include Church Without Walls, Behavioral Health Network Inc., The Gray House, Springfield Family Support Program, Way Finders, Open Pantry (Springfield),
Children’s Study Home Family Resource Center, Hungry Hill Senior Center, Springfield Family Resource Center and St. Vincent DePaul Society.
“We reached out to the agencies who received donations in May to see what their needs were, and they reported that demand for these products was still high, and they would be grateful for anything we could donate,” LaForest said.
“The Book of the Prophet Micah tells us that the work God requires of us is to ‘do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God,’” she quoted. “This is the kind of work that a program like Longmeadow Loves accomplishes, ensuring just access to needed products, extending kindness to neighbors in need and humbly serving others.”
For more information on Longmeadow Loves, email email@example.com or leave a message at the church, 413-567-5901.
Send checks to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church with Longmeadow Loves in the memo line, 335 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow, MA 01106.