The Director’s Chair

We are in now what we call the thank you phase. Christmas is done, and the clean-up after Christmas is underway. And now we say thank you to all of the volunteers, all 121 of you, for the great job you did gathering the names, making up Christmas bags, and handing them out to the families. You did all of this work and had only five mistakes. What a great job. We then need to express our gratitude to the 239 donors to our Christmas and GoFundMe appeals who donated over $42,000. Because of their generosity, we were able to continue our “minimum of 3 gifts for every child.” Take a look at our Christmas Story article on Page 1, it will make you smile.

Our LittleStore operation is struggling under the weight of trying to keep up with the 75 to 115 daily customers. Our truck is on the road five days a week either picking up donations or delivering items purchased by our customers. There is a whole lot of unpacking, checking, pricing, stocking of shelves being done every day.

On a more humorous note, it seems to me that every time I pass through the store, one of the male shoppers stops me and asks, “When??” and they point to our shed across the parking lot. I know that they are asking when the flea market is going to be open. “In April,” I reply, and we both laugh. This has been going on since we closed the flea market down at the end of September.

As we told you in our last issue, our food distribution program is still struggling under the constantly increasing demand. We have gone from one trip to the Worcester County Food Bank per month to four or five, depending on the need.

The Sr. Alice Petty, R.S.M. programs are humming. The Student Incentive program has received additional funding, which means we will continue to have four students from refugee families doing service work at the LittleStore and receiving a stipend. The goal of the program is to provide incentives for them to keep up their grades in school, do some charity work and receive a little cash. We had about 40 people come for help with immigration work or help to apply for citizenship in the past year.