By Tony Senk
While the efforts of volunteers of the Bridges at the Shore Outreach Program to bring friendship, food, clothing, companionship, and compassion to those needy in the Bayshore area are well appreciated year-round, their heartfelt and humanitarian efforts are especially important and needed around the holidays. That’s why Bridges at the Shore program coordinator Kathy Logan is asking everyone in the Holmdel, Colts Neck, and Two Rivers area to take some time on Thursday, December 15 to help sort donated clothing at the Holmdel Community Church at 40 Main Street or to donate new toys and books or gift cards that Bridges at the Shore volunteers will hand-deliver to those who need them during their “Christmas run” on December 16. The December 15 sorting at the church starts around 6:00 p.m.
“We are collecting new toys and books for children ages infant through teen,” said Ms. Logan. “We are also collecting gift cards for families from stores like Toys R’Us, Kohls, Target, Modells, and Old Navy, and from supermarkets like Stop and Shop, Shop Rite, Foodtown, and fast-food restaurants, as well. Donations are requested by December 12, and clothing donations for Bridges at the Shore can be dropped off anytime at the Holmdel Community Church.”
She explained, “In many ways, the Bridges at the Shore Outreach Program helps people express their faith through action by helping those in need – hand-on and face-to-face. The program helps to unite communities, create friendships, and build bridges between people and communities. It truly is a person-to-person effort, as we meet homeless and low-income individuals face-to-face, offering friendship as well as food, blankets, and clothing. Although it began as a program of people in the suburbs going to meet with and help the homeless in lower Manhattan, the program later shifted to a local focus, serving low-income people in the communities of Keyport, Red Bank, and Freehold.”
Clothing is sorted the day prior to going out to distribute supplies on Fridays, as a caravan of cars and vans deliver these items to the homeless. Donations of clothing, toiletries, or school supplies can be dropped off anytime in the shed marked “Bridges,” located on the side of the church parking lot.
Bridges volunteers also bring brown bag lunches to the homeless. They include a sandwich (no condiments), a drink (no glass bottles), a piece of fruit and a snack (cookies, chips, pretzels, etc.), and a note of encouragement (no names or personal information). Lunches can be brought to the William R. Satz School in Holmdel on the morning of the delivery run or dropped off at the Holmdel Community Church at 40 Main Street (Route 520) between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. that same day.
For more information about the Bridges at the Shore Outreach Program, contact program coordinator Kathy Logan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (732) 706-9467.