Brunswick - Instead of being full of children looking forward to summer break, this Brunswick School Department bus parked in front of Shaw’s Supermarket in Cooks Corner was full of shampoos, soaps, paper towels, tooth paste and all kinds of other personal care supplies. These were bound for the guests at Tedford Housing’s adult and family homeless shelters in Brunswick. Despite the often pouring rain on Saturday, June 2 customers of Shaw’s cheerfully donated bag after bag of goods to help fill the bus.
From 9:00 AM until 3:00 in the afternoon , volunteers from Tedford Housing’s board and staff greeted shoppers as they entered the store, provided them with lists of items needed and asked them drop them off on their way out. “It was great to see families with small children, especially when the girls and boys handed us the bags to go on the bus” said Melinda Small, of Harpswell, Tedford volunteer and board member.
One young man asked “What is going to happen with all these plastic bags?” He was assured that Tedford uses the bags again to provide toothpaste, paper towels, and other items to guests at the homeless shelters. Those that are not used, or are worn out, will be recycled.
The shelters provide emergency housing to adults and families in the mid-coast are who homeless. Tedford Housing also provides housing and support services to adults, families and teens to prevent homelessness and assist formerly homeless people to stay in permanent housing. Affordable housing units in Bath, Brunswick, Lewiston, Auburn and Augusta are among the resources offered by Tedford Housing.
At the end of the day, there was not an empty bench on the bus. This very successful event to help supply homeless individuals and families with necessary personal care items could not have been possible without the support of the Brunswick ??? Rotary Club and Shaw’s Supermarket, and the incredible generosity of Shaw’s customers shopping. The Tedford staff and volunteers who spent their Saturday in the rain talking to customers and working with Shaw’s Associates to load the bus and keep the supplies flowing were crucial to making this event work.
“People are incredibly generous” was heard often and was the theme of the day.
Thank you to everyone who participated. Thank you to, Shaw’s Supermarket, Patty Biggs at Shaw’s, Shaw’s customers and staff, to the Rotary, and to everyone representing Tedford Housing. There will be many happy people as a direct result of filling the bus.