Rotarians Connect People in Need with Donated Products

“Who do we thank?” was the response to delivering boxes of toothbrushes and toothpaste to local Brunswick locations. This was not an easy question to answer.  Rotary International calls its members “People of Action!” In this case, the people of action were friends and neighbors as well as Rotarians.

On Friday morning September 25, a pick-up truck left Brunswick for a park and ride in Portland where boxes of toothbrushes, toothpaste, and feminine products were loaded from a van. The truck drove back to Brunswick High School where the boxes were sorted to be delivered to Mid Coast Hunger Prevention food pantry, the Teen Center at People Plus, Oasis Free Clinic with some remaining at the high school for students in need.

The project involved partners who have never worked together before. The Biddeford based Apex Youth Connecting sponsored a small food pantry to help families who were no longer receiving free school lunches. When they closed the pantry, they were left with a small truckload of nonperishables -  toothpaste and toothbrushes donated by Tom’s of Maine, and feminine products donated by the University of New England. Volunteer Tom Foley ended up with these items. Tom reached out to Rotarian Roland Gagne of Biddeford who suggested contacting Rotarian Claudia Frost from Brunswick. 

When Claudia travels to poor countries on Rotary missions, she always packs a duffle bag full of items that are needed. She and other Rotarians traveled with toothbrushes to an Internally Displaced Persons Camp in Nigeria. With travel now prohibited, local agencies were contacted and all of the items from Biddeford found a home. 

Tom Foley drove the van, volunteers Bill Allen and Bill McCallum drove the pick-up truck. Rotarian Carolyn Bulliner delivered the toothbrushes, toothpaste, and feminine products to the Teen Center and the food pantry. Another delivery was made to Oasis Free Clinic.

As to “who do we thank?” We are grateful to Tom’s of Maine and the University of New England for their donations. The rest is just a group of people who took a morning to give a little help. Pass it on.