On Saturday, February 12, the amazing generosity of so many Charlestown neighbors and friends showed itself once again with the culmination of a town-wide Bath Towel Drive. In spite of an ongoing pandemic, a weekend blizzard, and unusual freezing rain conditions, our unselfish community couldn’t be kept from collecting nearly 900 new bath towels for their fellow neighbors in need.
This Bath Towel Drive was a first! Due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the members of the St. Mary’s Conference of St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena Parish have needed to adjust their ways of carrying out its mission of serving those in need. The St. Vincent de Paul Society is an international voluntary organization in the Catholic Church, founded in 1833 for the sanctification of its members by personal service to the disadvantaged. When they learned about this drive, the St. Vincent de Paul Conference of St. Francis de Sales Parish enthusiastically joined their efforts to this worthy cause.
A famous quote of St Vincent de Paul is “Extend your mercy towards others, so that there can be no one in need whom you meet without helping.”
A heartfelt thanks to the countless donations from the parishioners of St. Mary-St Catherine of Siena and St. Francis de Sales parishes, as well as, the Charlestown Community at-large for their generosity and impressive support. Special thanks and recognition to the Patriot Bridge for their advertising assistance, the Charlestown Cooperative Bank for their willingness to be a centralized collection location, the Charlestown Mothers Association for its use of media to spread the message of need, and the Kennedy Center who eagerly added their efforts to all of these invaluable resources that led to making the Bath Towel Drive a momentous success.
During the two-week collection period, the members of the St. Mary’s Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and some friends, too, donated, collected, rolled, and bagged the towels in preparation for their distribution which occurred on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022 at our regularly scheduled Parish’s Harvest on Vine Emergency Food Pantry. The HOV recipients were so delighted to be receiving this needed household item that can be so costly to include in their own budgets. Some expressed a simple thanks, while others offered that this was a truly great idea. One woman from the HOV line expressed that many in that line need “everything” and so this donation to her household was a very good thing. When asked what other household items are most needed, the most common responses expressed the need for pillows, pillowcases, sheets, and sturdy shower curtains, all things that most of us take for granted.
These were provocative thoughts for another time.
It was the hope of the members of St. Mary’s St Vincent de Paul Society that the daily lives of our neighbors would be improved in a small way by providing household items that get used, worn and are costly to replace. The good feeling and grateful spirit shown by the recipients lifted the workers’ spirits, as well. One thing that COVID has taught us is that we are all going through this world together and do best when we unite to help those who have serious needs. The Charlestown community understands this well and can certainly be described as a most caring and compassionate neighborhood! Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who assisted in making this Bath Towel Drive a huge success!
With much gratitude from the Members of the St. Vincent de Paul Councils of both St Mary-St. Catherine of Siena and St. Francis de Sales parishes…and of course, the thankful recipients!