Since 2011, St. Augustine's, working with the Department of Health and Human Services and Walmart, has provided bicycles for dozens of foster children in York County at Christmas time. Bikes are matched to individual children and their needs including their age, gender and even what color they want. Bikes are delivered in time for the child to find the gift under the tree. This is sometimes the only gift the child receives and demand grows each year. Most of the funds raised for this project come from our ongoing bottle drives, especially our special drive on the Saturday after July 4th.
Food Donations to Saco Food Pantry:
When there was a need for peanut butter for children home for the summer, we met the need. When there was a shortage of stuffing and gravy for Thanksgiving dinners, we made sure the need was met. Since 2010 we have worked with the Saco Food Pantry in meeting every day and special food needs.
Beginning in 2013, St. Augustine's held several public opportunities for people to sign and send Christmas cards to wounded soldiers. The cards and postage are all donated and we hope this will be a project that grows each year. Beginning each October we also collect boxes of Christmas cards to be taken to the local thrift store to be given to people who can not afford to buy Christmas cards. We know the cards are scooped up almost as soon as they are put on the shelves.
Support for the Homeless:
St. Augustine has, since its beginnings, held the homeless close to its heart. Whether it's adults at the various Portland shelters or the children in Old Orchard Beach who must go from a busy day at school to a home in a parked car, we have sought to meet needs. Several times each year socks, personal items and backpacks are delivered to the local shelters. Each year backpacks filled with school supplies are delivered to the school district for delivery specifically to the homeless children.