Many people have passed through our blue doors this summer to visit our shops, to tour the grounds, or to stay on with us as volunteers to experience our community life.
Thanks to you, we had blue paint for the doors (we always paint our doors blue for Our Lady), well-stocked shelves in the shops, garden tools to work with, and everything else it takes to run a community-size household.
Encouraged by your past generosity, we come to you again with a few new requests for what we need for our Madonna House family and those who come to us, as well as for the poor in far-flung places.
Even when summer is over, our missions shops, that is, the gift shop, flea market, and bookshop, will continue to welcome many visitors, many of whom are happy to discover that their purchases provide monetary help to the poor worldwide. So your donations are bringing joy to many.
If you are wondering how you can play a part in all of this, here are examples of items that are especially popular in the shop these days: bookends, piggy banks, Russian nesting dolls, and coddled egg holders. These things make lovely and unusual gifts.
As for religious goods, people are especially interested in St. Christopher medals; statues of the saints, Our Lady, and Christ; and anything of St. Francis. The gift shop staff thank you for the evening bags, batteries, and jewelry findings you donated.
As for the secondhand bookshop, the children’s corner needs books for all ages.
Whatever the season, the office work remains fairly constant as we correspond with many people and ship out many books and CDs. There is, for example, an ongoing need for paper, mostly 8.5 by 11, but also 8.5 by 14. Also, these days, 9 by 12 or longer envelopes for mailing out bulk copies of Restoration are desperately needed.
Other office needs are: Scotch tape; fine, felt-tip black permanent markers; CD cases; and clear packaging tape (1 inch or wider). We could also use a strip cut paper shredder, if you have one you are able to give away.
The kitchen crew sends a big thank you for the twist ties, coffee filters, and spatulas that you sent us. They are now trying to collect enough steam pudding molds for Christmas baking.
The nurses are thrilled with the over-the-counter meds that have come in. They thank you, too, for the epsom salt. Here’s a list of their current needs: Immodium, Bag Balm, Deltol Antiseptic, cotton gloves, and multi-vitamins.
The librarians are very grateful for the donation of 9-volt batteries that we begged for in this column. Likewise, our gardeners send their warm thanks for the donation of rubber garden boots.
We individually make our own greeting cards, and some of the supplies for this are low. Can you send some rubber cement, watercolor paints, and colored paper (card stock weight)?
Our more general household needs are: dental floss, bars of soap, Murphy Oil Soap, and style "A" Hoover vacuum cleaner bags.
We’ll finish up with two final requests. Our Cana Colony for families needs adult life jackets, and the farmers are asking for polypropylene rope in various thicknesses.
In September, our associate priests and deacons from all over will convene here for their annual meetings. Please pray for them and for us. As always, we will continue to pray for you and your families in our daily liturgies and community prayers.
In Our Lady of Combermere,
Susanne Stubbs and Mark Schlingerman (September 2009)
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