An active mission in the New Paltz area is driven by the passion of Joan and Vinnie Gallagher. Joan shares with us the vital role they are playing, helping folks in need in a variety of ways. The New Paltz United Methodist church has an informal partnership with the New Paltz Recycling Center to promote food rescue, textile reuse and the redistribution of durable medical equipment. As Vinny, my husband, likes to say “It keeps us out of trouble. “
The food part is called New Paltz food rescue. Pre-pandemic we picked up daily at the Bakery, once or twice a week at Tops, and as contacted at Sodexo (the college catering service). Many items help defray the cost of Friday soup luncheons. The rest is given to other churches, local food pantries, homeless shelters and people who could use a bit of help.
The clothing part is a textile rescue. One component of this program consists of setting aside winter clothing items as they come our way all year round, holding a coat drive in the fall (usually partnered with DEC). We also get involved with donations from clean outs when folks are downsizing or distributing the property of someone deceased. Donations are then sorted and distributed to five area shelters including a residential teen shelter, a domestic violence house, and a shelter for women with children. At this time, Family of New Paltz is one of our main recipients, especially since corona has kept us away from the homeless shelters.
We are especially pleased to have a dedicated Med Shed (built by the Bruderhof) where we store and lend donated items that assist people with disabilities. We are selective in accepting donations to ensure that our inventory is all in good to excellent condition. An honor system for borrowing and returning works rather well.
I submit quantities and rough descriptions of what is donated to Laura Petit, the Director of the Recycling Center and she, in turn, submits these numbers to the appropriate State agencies that track these things. She is extremely cooperative and generous to our church, frequently donating office supplies, yarn, craft items that the children use in the back during worship, fabric for worship centers, and just about anything that shows up in the ReUse Center that we can use.
It is a pleasure to be able to pitch in and help serve our church and community.