Warm clothing giveaway in Greenville

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Friday, November 16, 2018 1:52PM

It was seven years ago, and Brenda Salmonson saw there was a need.

“I had noticed that we didn’t really have any kind of warm clothing drive in the area,” Salmonson said. “So I thought ‘why not have one?’”

So Salmonson, a member of the Souhegan Lions Club, got members of the Greenville Lioness Club on board and then connected with Maureen Stenuis, director of the St. Vincent dePaul Food Pantry in Greenville. For the eighth straight year, the two clubs will take over the building typically used for Sunday school at the church and separate the clothing into three rooms for men, women and children.

“It’s a yard sale kind of set up,” she said.

For the last six weeks, there have been donation boxes at Sacred Heart and the post office in Greenville, and the libraries in Mason, Temple and New Ipswich (the four towns the Lions Club serves).

“We just ask people to clean out their closets,” Salmonson said. “And we never know what we’re going to find in those boxes.”

Over the next two days, members of the two clubs will pick up the boxes, sort the clothing and get ready for the three hours where folks in need can get some warm clothing for the upcoming winter.

“With that amount of clothing, there’s enough to go around,” Salmonson said. “People can take what they really need.”

Last year, they collected more than 1,300 articles of clothing which were then set out for folks to pick through to ensure they’d have enough clothing to make it through the freezing New England winter days

“The amount of clothing can be a little overwhelming,” Salmonson said. But there will be five or six volunteers there to help.

The Lions Club gives Salmonson $200 to buy new socks and gloves, while the Greenville Knitters Club donate hats and mittens that club members have made.

When Salmonson came up with the idea, there was no way of knowing how it would go. But over the years she has seen what it has meant to the folks that truly need a jacket or pair of pants.

“I honestly had no idea what kind of impact we’d have, but people are so appreciative,” Salmonson said.

One year, there was a woman who came in without any socks to wear. When she was given a few pairs, she began to cry.

“I’m just glad we had socks to give her,” Salmonson said.

And no matter how many blankets they receive, they’re always the first thing to go.

The giveaway will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Sacred Heart is located at 15 High St. in Greenville.