WESTFIELD-Volunteers at Project New Hope, Inc. were delightfully surprised on the morning of Aug. 30 when they arrived to find a variety of new items for Scarlett’s Baby Pantry left by an anonymous donor.
“A Mickey Mouse tent, two pairs of pants, two sleeper pajamas, a bib and children’s dress were left on our doorstep,” said Brooke Calloway, a volunteer in the Project New Hope’s Westfield office. Calloway’s husband serves with the U.S. Marine Corps and she serves as a family readiness assistant for his unit. Scarlett’s Baby Pantry is named after Calloway’s daughter since she is a military child.
A Facebook post acknowledged the donation saying, “Thank you to the anonymous donor who left these awesome things on our doorstep. It is much appreciated and every single item makes a difference in the lives of veterans in Western Massachusetts.”
Project New Hope was established by William Moore, a U.S. Air Force disabled veteran, in Worcester. After he was introduced to Project New Hope of Minnesota during a weekend retreat in 2010, he established his own nonprofit in Massachusetts in 2011.
Since 2017, the baby pantry in the Westfield branch has offered a variety of items including new clothing, shoes, diapers, wipes, baby food, formula and nonperishable food for families.
“Items that are especially needed all of the time include clothes from newborn to 5T, diapers, wipes, and miscellaneous baby care items,” said Calloway.
The mission of the baby pantry is to offer assistance for military families in need of items to raise happy, healthy children.
“Currently serving military families, veterans who served with honor and Gold Star spouses can come in once per month to fill a shopping bag with the things they need for their immediate children,” said Calloway.
Proper military identification is required to be shown at each visit and can include a military ID, VA card, DD-214, or a driver’s license marked “veteran.”
Items are all new and geared for newborns through preschool age children.
“Our goal is to alleviate the financial burden military families face raising children,” said Calloway, adding, “We are for supplemental purposes only.”
Calloway noted that tax-deductible donations are always welcomed and can be dropped off during office hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., or Tuesday and Thursday from 12 – 3 p.m. Gift cards to give to families in need are also accepted.
“New clothes and toys are always needed,” said Calloway.
The office is located in the Hampton Ponds Plaza, 1029 North Road, Suite 9.
For more information on all of the services offered by the organization, call (413) 315-3873, visit www.projectnewhopema.org, or stop in during office hours.