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Donations of clothes are needed now

Date: 11/28/2012

By Lori Szepelak

HOLYOKE — Providence Ministries is on the front lines every day tirelessly helping those in need and at this time of year, referrals from local agencies and schools for warm clothing continue to rise.

"Fall is here," Christine Burns, director of development, Providence Ministries, said during a recent interview with Reminder Publications. "The phones are ringing off the hook with schools looking for warm clothes for students who are showing up in shorts and flip flops."

In addition to schools, Providence Ministries receives calls weekly from churches, care providers including Head Start Inc., the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army with referrals of children who need the basic clothing essentials for winter that is fast approaching.

"This is a tough time for many, so we are asking all of our friends and supporters to please consider donating food, clothing and monetary donations to help us meet the needs of the community," Burns said. "There should be no children without warm clothes, no seniors without food, and no one without shelter."

Brenda Lamagdeleine, manager of Margaret's Pantry and St. Jude's Clothing Store, receives all referrals and validates those needs before items are distributed.

"Needy families that have a valid referral can be assisted at no charge to the family," Burns said.

Providence Ministries has three sites for clothing, St. Jude's, 56 Cabot St., Mother Mary's, 362 ½ & 364 Main St., both in the city, and Cinderelli's at 480 Newton St., South Hadley.

"Many parents also shop at our stores throughout the year to save money on clothes their kids will outgrow anyway and they support a good cause," Burns said.

Lamagdeleine stressed that all sizes are needed for warm clothing, from newborn through teens. Clothing sought includes coats, sweatpants, sweatshirts, warm pajamas, and boots. Blankets and towels are also requested.

For more information on how to drop off donations, call 538-8026.

For persons unable to donate clothes but would like to donate food, Margaret's Pantry "wish list" includes cereal, canned vegetables, tuna, beans, soups, peanut butter, pasta, spaghetti sauce, and baking mixes.