Good Will Continues In Port

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    You may think that the season for giving has ended, but in fact it continues through various charities within Port Washington. One is the Personal Care and Paper Pantry that is held on the first Thursday of every month at the Lutheran Church of Our Savior (LCOS), 12 Franklin Ave., near the train station. On that day, the recipients gather in a neat line and wait patiently for their turn to get some wishes granted.

    Table prepared with free items for children and others.

    The guests who attend have been pre-approved from sources including The Port Washington School District, The Parent Resource Center, Our Lady of Fatima Church, and St. Peter’s Church. The list consists of individuals and families who could benefit from receiving items that are not covered under SNAP, the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

    Inside the church’s gym/parish hall, the volunteers bustle around preparing for their guests. Under the direction of LCOS members Linda Murphy and Noreen DeSalvo, volunteers are assigned to the welcome tables or to the packing room. Sometimes they set a table with surplus free items and books that children might enjoy.

    After a guest is welcomed, the first stop is at one of the three sign-in tables. There, a volunteer checks the identification of the guest and confirms that his/her name is on the roster of eligible recipients. While there, the guest receives a list of all items that are available. In addition to toilet tissue and paper towels that are given to all recipients, each guest is permitted to choose eight items from the list.

    Organizers Linda Murphy and Noreen DiSalvo. (Contributed photos)

    Once the list is completed, the guest moves on to the “fulfillment” table. There, one of the volunteers takes the list and fills a bag- or two- with the items that have been requested. After receiving the bag and confirming that the items are correct, the guest leaves feeling a bit lighter even as he/she carries the load of necessities that have been provided.

    This event is only once a month, but it is the culmination of ongoing work throughout the year. The Pantry is continually being restocked by donations from the LCOS congregation as well as others. Large quantities of toilet tissue, paper towels, and diapers in a variety of sizes must be acquired. In addition, personal necessities such as soap, shampoo, shaving needs, and feminine products are in demand. Other popular items include dish detergent and laundry detergent. From this assortment, the guests are able to fulfill many of their needs.

    The Personal Care and Paper Pantry was started in February 2014. That first year, five families were served. Today, there are well over one hundred who visit the first Thursday of each month, along approximately thirty older community members who receive delivery of items at their apartments.

    A key slogan at The Lutheran Church of Our Savior is “God’s Work; Our Hands.” If you would like to add your own hands to this work, there are many ways to participate. Monetary and physical donations to the Paper and Personal Care Pantry are appreciated, whether it’s as small as a bar of soap or as large as a case of paper towels.

    If you’d like to learn more about this outreach that benefits so many in our town, please contact Linda Murphy at Murphyfamily45@yahoo.com. You may also connect to LCOS at lutheranchurchportwashington.com or phone 516-767-0603. You don’t need to wait another year to give of yourself; like the Personal Care and Paper Pantry, giving can be all year long.

    —Submitted by Janice Crawford