, Newburyport, MA

May 23, 2013

Community Service gives thanks for all who donate

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

As Community Service of Newburyport begins its 101st year of attending to the needs of low-income families and individuals in our community, we would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the help we receive from the different groups and organizations in the area that help us to continue our mission. Community Service of Newburyport is a private, nonprofit organization that receives no government funding, so over the years we have come to realize just how true the statement, “It takes a village,” truly is. Without the help and support of so many over the years, Community Service would have closed its doors decades ago.

Community Service has a food pantry that is supported by many diverse groups. Each month a different area church collects food from their parishioners and delivers it to our office. These churches that participate yearly are: First Religious Society, Unitarian Universalist, Central Congregational Church, Belleville Congregational Church, Old South Church, First Parish Church of Newbury, People’s United Methodist Church, First Church of Christ, and Immaculate Conception Church. The Immaculate Conception School collects food throughout the school year with each grade being given a month to be in charge of the collection. The eighth-graders deliver the food to our office. Leeward Industries, also known as Leeward Light Thrift Shop in Salisbury, has contributed thousands of dollars in support of our pantry since its opening in 2009. Pennies For Poverty helps us several ways. They hold a food drive at Shaw’s Supermarket twice a year and we are given some of the food they collect, and we have been the recipient of money and gift cards bought with the money from the many penny jars around town. Other groups who have collected food for us over the past few years include: the Post Office Letter Carriers, Molin Upper Elementary School, Newbury Council on Aging, River Valley Charter School, Flukes & Finds & Friends, Charity Girls of the North Shore, Newburyport High School students and the Institution For Savings. With all of this support our pantry remains stocked with a large variety of healthy and nutritious food for the families we serve.

In late August of each year, the Daughters of Isabella and the Immaculate Conception Church parishioners gather together hundreds of packages of new underwear and socks for the children who are returning to school. Our clients look forward to this every year and are greatly appreciative of the hard work and lovely creations.

At Christmas time we have a Red Stocking Program that could not exist without all of the wonderful organizations and individuals that sign up to provide gifts for the children of our clients. You know who you are and we cannot thank you enough for all you do. You truly know how to make the spirit of Christmas come alive in our office and in the homes of the people we serve. We also team up with a wonderful organization called Christmas Tree Santas, which provide beautiful live Christmas trees to our clients for free.

Many individuals keep our clothing racks well-stocked with gently used, stylish clothes that is given away for free. Again you know who you are, and we can’t thank you enough for taking the time to bring this clothing that is “new” to them. It is often the highlight of their day and they are thrilled to be able to provide good quality clothing to their families without having to spend a dime. We are also grateful to the organizations that have held clothing drives for us: Children’s Castle, The Newburyport Bank and Immaculate Conception School.

There are several individuals who go above and beyond in supporting our organization. For all they have done for us over the past few years, we would like to give special recognition to Steve Stronge and his late wife Regina, L. Jane O’Brien, Barbara Roche, Betsy and Al Wencl, Kitty Pearson, Sue and Jim Noyes, Betty Abby Stearns, Ghlee Woodworth, Duncan MacBurnie, Linda and Will Buddenhagen, Jean Perkins, James Shanley, Mr. and Mrs. Keith Attenborough and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Walsh.

We must give a special tribute to our late president, Lorraine Leary, who helped our organization in innumerable ways. She is sadly missed by all who knew her.

Last and certainly not least, the board and staff of Community Service of Newburyport would like to acknowledge the organizations that have made substantial monetary donations to us over the past few years. They are: Leeward Industries, Newburyport Area Industrial Development (NAID), Institute for Savings Charitable Society, Newburyport Odd Fellows, Grog Chili-Fest, Pennies for Poverty and all of the area churches who have done special collections for us: Belleville Congregational Church, Central Congregational Church, Old South Church, People’s United Methodist Church and First Religious Society. We wish to also thank all of the individuals who send us donations throughout the year.

The city of Newburyport and the surrounding towns are filled with kind, thoughtful, giving people who have contributed to the longevity of Community Service of Newburyport’s ability to provide assistance to the less fortunate. Indeed it takes a village. Thank you all for what you do.

Betty Leary and Martha Arias

Community Service of Newburyport, Inc.