By the time you read this column, we will have passed our Lenten journey. As we move forward in the light of the Resurrection, may all our hearts be wide open to receive the grace that awaits us.
If you have never visited us here in Combermere and seen the process for yourself, you might be interested in knowing how we go about sorting the donations you send us.
First, we separate items into four major categories: clothing, fabric (everything made of fabric except clothing), books, and miscellaneous. Then everything is sorted into more specific categories according to how it will be used or distributed. Many of the donations go to people who need them especially in the local area, other things are sold in our gift shop to earn money for the missions, and of course we keep some things for our own use.
The kitchen staff thank you for the juice-size glass bottles, which are especially handy for bringing milk for coffee to our dorms. Now they are asking for popcorn poppers, Saran Wrap, and single cup tea balls, as well as plastic containers with lids (like the kind that cottage cheese and ice cream come in) in all sizes.
Can you help our nurses refill their health supplies? They need evening primrose oil (500 mg), valerian drops, digestive enzymes, Dr. Scholl’s Zino Pads (extra thick), Band-Aids, and ear plugs. Also needed are vitamin C (500 mg), expectorant cough syrup, Extra Strength Tylenol, and baby aspirin (81 mg).
While they were putting away the Christmas decorations, our handicraft department noted these needs for next year: candles for the glockenspiels (German angel chimes) and colored night-light-size Christmas bulbs. Still looking ahead, for summer flower arrangements they will need wet floral foam. These days they need polyester fill for stuffed animals and cotton warp for weaving.
Do you have an extra classical guitar strap, the kind that hooks into a hole in the front of the guitar. (Classical guitars don’t have knobs.)
Our librarians are running out of canary yellow 3 x 5 index cards (blank on both sides), which they use for their card catalogues. They can use white ones, too. And if you can spare a Brother Daisy Wheel (CAN 16), it would help for typing on the index cards.
Other current office needs are 3 x 3 Post-it notes, a white-out pen, black and blue ball point pens, 1 inch wide clear packaging tape, as well as the ongoing need for: #10 envelopes and 8 ½ x 11 paper—both good and good-on-one-side.
Our gift shop staff are using these quiet winter days to prepare the stock for the busy summer season. They have three small requests: 1 – 1.2 inch boxes for crafts, small brass safety pins, and a small metric scale for weighing gold. They would also welcome key chains; St. Francis and St. Joseph medals; statues and plaques; antique and quaint sewing utensils; fountain pens; and small Canadiana imitation soapstone pieces. Copper items, such as kettles and jugs, sell well, as do small glass vigil light holders, especially colored ones. Thank you for the jewelry and laundry stain removers you sent.
This month we especially want to beg for two household needs: reflector tape for our jackets to make us visible to drivers when we are walking on the road after dark, and a good vacuum cleaner. Our more general needs are: metal scrubbies for cleaning pots and pans, long-handled bottle brushes, deodorant, and standard dish racks and silverware racks for a Hobart Industrial Dishwasher.
The laundry needs stain removers such as Shout, and our gardeners are asking for bonemeal and leaf rakes.
We are very grateful to you for attending to this column each month. May the Lord renew each of you through the glorious triumph of his Resurrection.
In Our Lady of Combermere,
Susanne Stubbs and Mark Schlingerman (March 2008)
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