Outreach program in Brockville, Ontario. The church has been boosted thanks to local businesses that kindly provide used clothing to those in need.
St. John’s United Church used to offer a free breakfast once a month before 2020, but the pandemic changed its practice and now offers bagged lunches.
“We make about 40 to 45 bags at the end of each month,” said Elaine Kennedy, a member of the outreach committee.
“Egg salad, tuna, turkey salad, and ham and cheese seem to be popular,” said Kennedy. .”
According to the Outreach Committee, an average of 40 to 50 people are using the program and it now offers visitors something new.
“A local retailer contacted me and said, ‘Listen, I have extra stuff that I really don’t want to put in the landfill or get rid of. Can I use it?'” said a member of the church council. As one David Dargy said,
“Of course, our answer was absolute. This will start in the fall of 2022 and we have continued with each of these lunches,” he added.
A second chance is given to clothing boxes that may have been returned or have slight defects such as missing buttons.
“Now we have winter boots, winter gloves, warm socks, everything. I just saw someone take three pairs of socks today,” Darzee said.
“We have warm coats, toques, scarves, anything winter related,” he added, noting that the retailer sold at least seven boxes. “We also have some boxes ready for spring. It will be summer clothing.”
David Dargie (left), Outreach Commissioner Elaine Kennedy (middle), and Anne Forshaw at St. John’s United Church in Brockville, Ontario. Saturday. (Nate Vandermeer/CTV News Ottawa)
On Saturday morning, people walked through the doors of the church, picked out new gloves and boots, and thanked the members for their generosity.
“They always have a nice lunch and are very grateful. They often talk a little bit about themselves. Of course, warm clothes are very appreciated.
Some of the clothing items provided by the Outreach Program at St. John United Church in Brockville, Ontario. (Nate Vandermeer/CTV News Ottawa)
If there are any items left at the end of the day, the group will make sure they also receive a home.
“We’re going to take this to a warming center and take it to other places where we can distribute both food and clothing,” Darzee said.
“There is so much retail clothing that ends up in landfills, and the amount thrown away is ridiculous,” he pointed out. “It’s not put in a box in the basement of St. John United Church, it’s actually used.”
“We’re playing a small part,” Kennedy added. “We appreciate the goodwill of this community.
“I’ve worked in Brockville for a long time in terms of charities and nonprofits,” Dargie said. “This is another example of how Brockville gives.”
Local businesses that provide carefully used clothing didn’t want to be named.
The outreach program takes place the last Saturday through March at St. John’s United Church.