“We’re always grateful for any donations, especially in these very hard times,” says Marilyn Richardson, manager of the Saugerties Area Council of Churches Food Pantry. The need for food assistance is there, she says, but donations are down because times are hard for so many right now, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
To make a monetary donation, mail a check (made out to Saugerties Area Council of Churches Food Pantry) to P.O. Box 723, Saugerties, NY, 12477. Checks should not be mailed to the pantry’s physical address, as they do not receive mail there, says Richardson. Monetary donations enable the food pantry to purchase food from the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, a nonprofit organization in Latham that buys surplus food and collects donations from the food industry to sell at wholesale prices to food pantries, who then distribute it to those in need.
Donations of canned goods and non-perishable food may be brought to the pantry during its hours of operation. The Food Pantry is open at 44 Livingston Street on Mondays and on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon on each of those days, and on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 8 p.m. In addition to non-perishable food items, toiletries such as toothpaste, shampoo and bathroom tissue are welcome.
The staff at the Food Pantry is all volunteer and unpaid (including Richardson). At this time, she says, they are not in need of any volunteers.
For more information, call 246-6885.
The Well Thrift Shop
A mission of the Saugerties Area Council of Churches, The Well Thrift Shop is located at 80/84 Partition Street. The store offers clothing, toys, books and small household items. There is a “free” side for those in need and a “selling” side, (thus the two addresses), with prices kept very low, says Karen Wurzel, chairman of the board of The Well Thrift Shop, so that those who don’t have much can afford to buy something without feeling like they’re taking a handout. “Some people come here just because they like a bargain,” she says, “and others tell us it’s the only place they can afford to shop.”
Donations are accepted Monday through Friday from 9 to 11 a.m. at the “selling” side of the store (it’s marked on the door). Wurzel requests that donations be “used but usable” items; clean, gently-used seasonal clothing and small household items, children’s toys, games and books. No textbooks, furniture or electronics.
All the proceeds after expenses from sales of the items goes back into the community, to a wide and varied range of good causes, including the Saugerties Boys & Girls Club, the Saugerties Food Pantry, God Given Bread (a food assistance program of Atonement Lutheran Church), Head Start, WGHQ Happy Christmas Fund, the skating park, post-prom parties for the high school, winter coats for those affected by recent storms and emergency one-time care for individuals in need.
All staff of The Well are unpaid volunteers, including Wurzel.
The free and the selling sides of the Well Thrift Shop are open to the public on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The free side is also open on Monday through Friday from 9 to 11 a.m., during the time that donations are accepted and sorted. For more information, call 246-5811, 246-6575 or 246-2062.
Saugerties Animal Shelter
The shelter for dogs and cats in Saugerties is located at the Transfer Station on Route 212. Town of Saugerties Animal Control manager Marie Post says that they welcome donations of clean blankets and towels as well as bleach and cleaning supplies, all of which can be brought directly to the shelter during its hours of operation Tuesday through Friday from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
In addition, twice a year, in May and October (usually on the third Saturday of the month), the shelter holds a yard sale, with all proceeds benefitting the shelter, so people can help by donating items for the yard sale. They do have a secure place to store items, says Post, and are taking donations now to be ready for the spring sale. Especially desirable are costume jewelry, vintage Christmas ornaments, glassware, and “jumble boxes” of nuts and bolts for the do-it-yourselfer to pick through. People can also help the shelter by going to the yard sale and buying. The proceeds go toward everything the shelter does and for all of the improvements to the facilities, for which no taxpayer money is ever used, says Post.
Those wishing to volunteer their time may stop by the shelter and pick up an application. Some volunteers sign up to walk the dogs, says Post, while others do tasks like the recent painting of the dog room floor at the shelter. Other volunteers foster kittens, a valuable service because of the great number of cats who need a home and the lack of places to take them.
Post also runs a pet food pantry. Donations of dog and cat food may be brought to the shelter or left at Town Hall. Sometimes it comes down to people having to choose between feeding themselves and feeding their pets, says Post, and she’d like them to feed themselves and come to the shelter for the pet food. Like the food pantry for people, nobody is turned away or asked to prove need. For more information, call Post at 246-6211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.