So many of you have asked, “What can I do to help?”
Here is the answer!
Gift Cards: We can ALWAYS use donations of gift cards (typically $10-$20 denominations) to Walmart, Cosco, Stop and Shop, Cumberland farms, Shaws AND NOW AMAZON to give out to those in need of items they can’t get elsewhere or to help those with specific dietary requirements. These can be left in the mailbox in front of the church. These are something Father Ed uses year-round, anytime, for those in need.
The new Compassion Closet: We are looking for donations of necessary cleaning and hygiene items such as: Toilet paper, Kleenex, Liquid dish soap, laundry detergent, bar soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, Clorox wipes, feminine products, hand soap, toilet bowl cleaner, diapers, baby wipes, adult incontinence briefs, and pet food. These can be left in the the bin under the overhang in front of the church OR in the The Little 24/7 Pantry, if there is space. Those needing larger items or supplies can contact the church for pick up or delivery.
To help with this effort, you can also donate from the comfort of your home and have items delivered directly to St. Mark’s! Just change the shipping address to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 116 South St. Foxboro, MA 02035.
The Little 24/7 Pantry: Drop off non-perishables or the items above in the “take it or leave it” pantry in the circular driveway in front of the church on South Street, or in the bin in front of the church.
Amazon Smile: Did you know a portion of every purchase you make through Amazon can be donated to St. Mark’s if it is done through AMAZON SMILE? Check out this link to see how! https://blog.aboutamazon.com/community/how-to-sign-up-for-amazonsmile If you tend to shop from your phone, you can save the Amazon Smile icon to your screen and it will take you directly to your Amazon cart, then every single purchase benefits St. Mark’s!
Monetary donations can be made to the Life Building Fund to help those with financial hardships during this difficult time. Donations can be left in the mailbox in front of the church.
And don’t forget: Please continue to send in your weekly pledges or make your pledge online through your bank.
Compassion Circle Leaders will be identifying needs within their circles, as well as helpers and volunteers to enable us to support each other through this difficult time. If you have a particular “gift” in the form of TRAINING, TALENT, OR SKILL, we can set up a drop in Zoom Meeting for you to share this with others. (For example: A CPA, Mental Health worker, Homeschooling resource or teacher, Yoga Instructor, anything you can think of…). Please reach out to Father Ed with what you propose. We can set up a moderator, advertise to our parish, and keep connecting to each other from our own homes!
Hockomock YMCA: The Foxboro, Franklin, and North Attleboro branches serve 15 local communities. Links to their site with Covid-19 information and food access information are below, as well as a brief summary: Visit their website for information: https://www.hockymca.org/food-access-during-school-closures/ *Milford: Memorial Elementary School, Monday-Friday, 8:00-10:00 and 11:00-1:00, Grab and Go Meals *North Attleboro: Community Elementary School, Monday-Friday, 11:30-1:30, Grab and Go Meals *All Y Branches: Franklin, North Attleboro, and Foxboro: Wednesdays, 1:00-2:00 and 5:00-6:00, Family Food Bags
Pull up to the entrance and pop your trunk. A staff member will place the items in your trunk for you. No paperwork or information is needed. You DO NOT need to be a Y member to receive support. Other times for pick-up and delivery can be arranged if needed. Reach out to Caitlin Gibbs at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or Marykate Bergen at email@example.com. Reach out to them for specific needs as well. Other COVID-19 YMCA info: https://www.hockymca.org/latest-communication-covid19/
School Meals: There are over 1,000 meal sites open across the state. To find a site near you, please visit hte Project Bread meal site finger online at https://meals4kids.org/schoolclosure or contact them by phone at 800-645-8333. Veterans Services: The Kraft Group and Veterans' Services provided food for Veterans. Contact them at (508) 543-1204 to see if this event will be scheduled again. HESSCO (Meals on Wheels): https://hessco.org All services are still up and running. Meals on Wheels provides hot meals M-F. In home care is still running. If you are >60 and need a meal, they will get it to you. Please call the HESSCO Information and Referral Department to start the meals: 781-784-4944. Foxboro Food Pantry: Open 9-11AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Pick-ups are generally allowed twice per month, no in pre-packed bags (2 bags per family). They provide non-perishables as well as toilet paper. The AHERN SCHOOL in Foxboro has grocery bags that are kid-friendly on Thursdays 12-2pm.
EMERGENCY CHILDCARE FOR ESSENTIAL WORKERS: Childcare for essential personnel, currently through 5/1. This is in the FOXBORO AND FRANKLIN locations. This is fully funded, no cost to participants. it is technically a walk-in service but can only hold up to 40 children, so it would be better to plan ahead. Reach out to Kim Jennings at firstname.lastname@example.org or (781) 879-6271 for more information or to reserve a spot. The center is open Monday through Friday 7AM - 6PM.
OTHER RESOURCES HESSCO: Their CAREGIVER SUPPORT PROGRAM is still running. This is support for family members who are caring for someone. Just call the main number to start the referral. All other in-home supports and services at HESSCO remain open and operational. Any questions about services should be conveyed to our Care Management team at 781-784-4944. HESSCO can accept new referrals for in-home services at this time. Please call the HESSCO Information and Referral Department at 781-784-4944. Foxboro Discretionary Fund: They will have an application available on the website for residents to apply for monetary help if you are unemployed and need help with bills, etc. http://foxboroughma.gov/departments/health/foxborough_discretionary_fund
AA: Every day at NOON, weather permitting, South Foxboro Community Center has moved the meeting outdoors! You can also join Boston's Recover Support Group, where you can find Zoom meetings and other resources and phone numbers. Contact Kris at 508-212-7206 for more guidance and support. ALANON: Phone meetings available Monday 10:00AM, Wednesday 9:30AM, and Friday 10:30AM. The call-in number is: 646-558-8656. The code is 118189363. Unemployment Information: Below is a link to the state's town hall forum site. You can see a schedule and sign up for information about obtaining unemployment benefits:
For Parents and Students Mass Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: To further expand learning opportunities for students, they have partnered with public broadcaster WGBH and its partner station WGBY to provide resources for use by students who are learning at home. The resources include the stations’ newly launched online distance learning center (https://www.wgbh.org/distance-learning-center) with lessons for every grade level and free access for educators to PBS LearningMedia (https://mass.pbslearningmedia.org/). Middle and high school students also have access to more educational programming on the WGBH and WGBY WORLD Channel from noon to 5 p.m., and younger students can tune into other public broadcasting channels such as WGBH Kids for educational programming. Other supplemental educational resources have been posted on our website (http://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/ed- )
If you believe that you or your children have experienced bullying or harassment related to the COVID-19 outbreak, or if this happens in the future, please contact your school’s civil rights officer, principal or your superintendent’s office. You may also contact our Problem Resolution System Office at 781-338-3700 or email@example.com.
For more information, please visit the following COVID-19 websites: o The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019ncov/index.html)
Most parishes in the Episcopal Church are self-sustaining. St. Mark’s ministries, including support of our Programs, Priest, Staff, Outreach initiatives and care of our Building and Grounds, are all funded through pledges, gifts, and space sharing fees received from parishioners and friends of St. Mark's. We do not receive money from over-arching institutions such as the diocese - other than by way of grants for special projects and so pledges from every member and gifts from St. Mark's friends are extremely important.
If you would like to help support our ministry and the upkeep of our buildings and gardens which are used for many Foxboro community activities including Alcoholics Anonymous, B Choral Society, Foxboro Art Association, Uncommon Theater Groups, Al Truax Bridge Club, music recitals, and more please join with us. You can download a pledge form here. Please return it to our office and my God bless you for supporting this ministry.