May this Lent be for each of you a season of mercy: God’s mercy towards us and ours for each other and for ourselves.
Even though Lent is a slow time for our gift shop, shoppers continue to come on the days it is open. So the proceeds from your donations help the poor year round.
Everything we sell in our gift shop helps the poor. These days, pocket knives and men’s watches are especially popular. Even watches that need repair are sought after. And if you have silver-plate serving pieces such as pie and cake lifters and salad tongs that you are able to donate, these too are selling quite easily. Plus the shop can always sell earrings.
To help in displaying the merchandise, the gift shop staff would be happy to have double-stick tape and museum putty (a type of white tacky used to keep things from falling off shelves).
The farmers have a variety of requests this time. They need six-inch sidewalk scrapers and 14-inch flat square-edged shovels for cleaning out the barn, food quality one-gallon pails with lids, egg baskets, and an accurate outdoor thermometer.
We are also looking for several 30-inch mattresses for our newly renovated visiting men guests’ dormitory.
Our nurses are asking for a few familiar items for the medicine shelf: polysporin ointment, 99% rubbing alcohol, cough drops, Sudafed (30 mg), Extra-Strength Tylenol , and vitamin D (400 i.u. and 1000 i.u.). One not-so-ordinary item they also need is an auto-inflate blood pressure cuff.
You might wonder why our office asks for paper and envelopes on such a regular basis. Well, the fact is that they depend on your donations of these items for their work. So please keep them in mind for #10 envelopes and 8 ½ x 11 paper, both good paper and what we call "good-on-one-side (which we use for scrap paper).They also need scotch tape and ballpoint pens.
The Restoration office needs 9 x 12 or larger envelopes and lightweight packing tape.
For most purposes, the laundress does fine with just detergent and water, but sometimes she needs a little help for stains. Can you send some Spray ‘n Wash or Shout—sticks or liquid? And some Woolite? We are also getting low on colored face cloths, dish towels, and hankies, both men and women’s. (Yes, we still use cloth hankies.)
This past Christmas the kitchen discovered that our 40-year-old stream pudding molds are no longer useable. So we would like to have about 20 to 25 molds, 4 to 8 cup size. Is that something you can help us with?
The kitchen also has a number of other more pressing needs: electric food processors such as Cuisineart, wire mesh colander-type strainers for rinsing grains, 100-cup coffee urns, and new wire twist ties for plastic bags for freezing food. Plus there are their ongoing needs such as book matches, wooden matches, and mouse traps.
Marie-Thérèse. who looks after the cleaning and dishes department, begs your help as we have run out of metal scrubbies (called "Chore Girls") and also those green scrubbies (abrasive filter pads) for pots and pans.
This next item is harder to come by: "grill bricks" for cleaning wood cook stoves. These are the size of a brick, very porous like pumice, and light weight. They are available in restaurant equipment stores.
And finally, we need Murphy’s Oil soap, which we use weekly to mop our wooden main dining room floor.
The staff who maintain the premises are asking for plastic snow shovels and Phillips screw drivers.
We would also be happy to receive 9-volt batteries for the microphone in our chapel and white cardboard (10 x 12 inches or larger) for making signs at our Cana family retreat center. And come spring, our women gardeners will be needing rubber garden boots.
Let me end by saying a big, big thank you to the anonymous angels who slipped into Infant of Prague, the building where we store and sort donations, at lunchtime when no one was there, and left a washing machine, exactly the kind we had asked for in this column . And a drier! Be assured that these wonderful machines are in constant use and that we are tremendously grateful.
Our list of needs is a bit longer than usual this month. Still, we don’t want to neglect asking for your most valuable contribution to our apostolate: your prayers, your sacrifices and your ordinary life lived in communion with us and the whole church. We continue to pray for you each day in all our community prayers. May God bless you by his mercy in this season of mercy.
In Our Lady of Combermere,
Susanne Stubbs and Mark Schlingerman (March 2009)
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