By Christine Galeone, Contributing Writer
Northborough – Throughout the year, Trinity Church of Northborough members volunteer at the church’s Count Your Blessings Thrift Shop. They offer gently used, inexpensive clothing and shoes. And, although they want them to reflect the seasonal selection in stores, they don’t want to discard useful items.
“We receive so many generous donations of quality clothing that we are not able to sell out at the end of each season,” said Linda Corbett, who manages the thrift shop ministry. “We were looking for a place nearby where the clothes would be needed.”
It didn’t take long for Corbett and the other volunteers to think of Worcester Fellowship. As a partnering supporter of the nonprofit that serves the homeless and people in need, Trinity Church had already been providing it with volunteers, funds, food and speaking opportunities. So, when Corbett discovered that the people the organization serves were in need of warm clothing, she didn’t hesitate. The thrift shop gave the nonprofit 18 large bags of winter clothing.
Worcester Fellowship is “a church among people without homes in Worcester” that’s “dedicated to ending isolation.”
With the support of several area churches of various denominations, it provides struggling people with lunches, Bible study groups, programs, resources and a chance to worship together. It also gives the homeless a chance for their voices to be heard by people who want to help them face their challenges.
Susan Pellerin, administrative director of Worcester Fellowship, said that the need for clothing is a constant challenge.
“I think that most people forget that the homeless and the addicted are all human beings who all started out on a level playing field just like us; their traumas, their circumstances, their medical issues, their one wrong choice may have led them to where they are now, but they still need and want to be loved, to be safe,” shared Pellerin. “Food seems easier to get than clothing because if you are homeless, clothing is disposable and needs to be replenished.”
She added that she hopes people will refrain from judging the homeless. Each person’s story is different. Pellerin advised “If you can’t offer help, please offer them a prayer…at the end of the day.”
As for Corbett, she’s grateful that the nonprofit has been able to hand out winter clothing along with the underwear and socks they normally provide.
“We hope the clothing will not only provide warmth and protection during these cold months, but also a feeling of hope because someone cares about them, and they are not forgotten,” she said.
It is clear that the thrift shop’s generous donation will also not be forgotten. Pellerin said that the donation is especially meaningful because it is from women who work hard to provide affordable clothing to people in need.
“Their outreach in caring for the homeless and at-risk people in Worcester is an affirmation to me and all of us at Worcester Fellowship that God works through good works,” she said.
Trinity Church’s Thrift Shop is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information about Worcester Fellowship, visit www.worcesterfellowship.org.