The 10-day drive began Tuesday January 22 and runs through Thursday, January 31. Organizers are asking the public to donate a variety of household goods that those in the Coast Guard need, but may not be able to afford to purchase or obtain at no cost elsewhere, as a result of the shutdown.
“These men and women are not getting paid and still going to work each day to protect us. It is amazing that we have a group of people willing to do that,” said Heroes In Transition Executive Director Nicole Spencer. “Part of our mission is to help our service members and their families in a time of need, and this drive is just one of the ways we are assisting the Coast Guard right now.”
“One of the amazing things about Cape Cod that I’ve fallen in love with is how Cape Codders are so quick to support one another during times of crisis,” said Lisa Oliver, President and CEO of The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod. “We live in a unique place, and it’s not just the ocean and natural beauty that has drawn people here for generations, but knowing that your friends and neighbors will offer a helping hand. As one of those neighbors, we want to be quick to offer assistance to our community and this is one of the ways we can do that.”
Kim Babiarz, co-owner of Marshland Restaurants, has a personal attachment to supporting those in the military. Her son Adam served in the U.S. Marines and was the first veteran to receive a service dog from HIT. “Those who serve are near and dear to my heart,” Ms. Babiarz said. “We have a number of people from the Coast Guard who go to our restaurants so we want to pay it back, especially now when they need the help and we are in a position to provide it.”
Since December 21, the federal government has been in the midst of a partial shutdown which has reached a record 32 days. The Coast Guard is the only military branch impacted by the shutdown as it falls under the Department of Homeland Security; all other branches fall under the Department of Defense which is not affected by the political stalemate.
The last paycheck Coast Guardsmen received was on December 31. They did not receive their bi-weekly checks on January 15, marking the first time in our country’s recent history that military service members have not been paid due to an appropriations lapse.
It is estimated nearly 1,100 Coast Guard members stationed across Cape Cod and the Islands are feeling the financial brunt of the shutdown.
To ease the financial uncertainty and stress they are facing, The Coop, HIT, Cape Cod Coffee and Marshland Restaurants are seeking the public’s help in donating the following essential items that will be distributed to local Coast Guardsmen and their families in the coming days:
- Paper towels
- Toilet paper
- 30 to 75 ounce free and clear laundry detergent (free of all scents and dyes)
- Dish soap
- Kitchen trash bags
- Soap bars for sensitive skin (free of all scents and dyes)
For sanitary reasons, please drop off individually wrapped paper towels and rolls of toilet paper.
Drop-off locations include:
- Cape Cod Coffee
- 348 Main Street, Mashpee
- 48 Market Street, Mashpee (Mashpee Commons)
- 480 Barnstable Road, Hyannis (Barnstable Municipal Airport)
- The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod (all branches)
- 1121 Route 6A, West Barnstable
- 1591 Route 6A, East Dennis
- 238 Worcester Court, Falmouth
- 1470 Orleans Road, East Harwich
- 695 Attucks Lane, Hyannis
- 3878 Falmouth Road, Marstons Mills
- 660 North Falmouth Highway, North Falmouth
- 275 Cotuit Road, Sandwich
- 121 Route 6A, Yarmouth Port
- Marshland Restaurants & Bakery
- 109 Route 6A, Sandwich
- 315 Cotuit Road, Sandwich
- 986 State Road 3A, Plymouth
Organizers hope to collect enough essentials to provide at least a two-week reprieve for Coast Guard members and their families on the Cape and Islands. Along with donations, volunteers are needed to help pick up, organize, and assemble packages. Those interested in volunteering can email Nicole Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org