The Patchwork Meetinghouse was a whirlwind of activity on Tuesday morning.
Our food pantry was open for customers, and the main office was busy issuing food pantry referrals. Some of our monthly regulars came to get food to help them stretch their resources just a little further. We also had a visit from a woman who has been working seven days a week to try to get ahead but who has been sick for several days so she’s unable to work and is losing ground.
Our bike shop was open and the volunteers there were repairing bikes as quickly as they could. The bike shop was closed during our summer children’s program, so the need for new tubes, brake adjustments, minor repairs, and new bikes has been building. Everyone is thankful to have a place to get their bikes fixed again.
We were busy providing neighborhood hospitality to our guests. Gail kept the coffee brewing (she made 10 pots!) and cooked up snacks. You don’t have to go to a fancy restaurant to get avocado toast, you can get some from Gail! Our guests also chatted in the main office, used the fax machine, and took showers. When needed, they also helped out by lifting and carrying things that needed to be moved.
Meanwhile, a large team of volunteers poured over a mountain of school supplies unpacking, sorting, counting, and repacking it to prepare for our Back to School Sale on Saturday. Small groups were assigned to each grade level, and they checked over the lists of supplies and filled their bags accordingly. Others sorted socks and underwear, adding them to boxes labeled by size. Extra school supplies were left stacked on tables to be sold a la carte. It was a room full of activity and a riot of kid-friendly color.
We want to help all children be ready for their first day of school, which is why we continue our annual sale. We’ve packed up kits tailored to grades K-5 with a wide variety of items in each one. Kits for grades K-3 cost $6 and for grades 4 & 5 cost $8. Children do not need to be present. The sale is Saturday, July 27 starting at 8:30 am and going until 11 am or we sell out, whichever comes first.
Tomorrow, families will line up early, waiting patiently for our doors to open so they can put in their order for the grade levels that they need. Their children will eagerly look through their new supplies as their parents wait to pay. The parents will share their gratitude for our help in getting their children ready for school. It’s always a fun and upbeat morning.
While we charge fees for the school supplies, the amount of money we receive from these fees comes nowhere near the actual cost of the items, so we are always grateful to receive funding from our donors to help us with the purchases. It takes more than a year of careful shopping to be able to stock up for the sale, and we’ve already begun purchasing for next year. If you would like to get involved, please contact us!