Underwearness project collects under clothing for children
The Western Maine Underwearness Project was established by David and Susan Catino after coming across an article about the national organization in a waiting room magazine.
“I didn’t really know where to begin,” Susan Catino said. “I just started buying a pair of kids underwear every time I went shopping.”
Since then the program has grown, with official collection boxes in Farmington and Kingfield. Collection sites are marked by the green logo- a pair of bright, new underwear at the center. The underwear are gathered and distributed by workers from Western Maine Homeless Outreach. School nurses in the MSAD 58 district have stepped up as well to collect and distribute donations.
“We come from the Boston area and being up here you can see directly how doing something affects people,” Catino said. “Once people hear about it they like it. It’s something that is easy to do and is so needed.”
One way Catino gathered underwear was by hosting a dinner party and requesting that her guests each bring a pair of clean, new undies.
A similar event is being held at the Phillips Area Community Center, where guests are asked to make a donation of either money or undergarments. The event will be held on Sunday Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. and will include a potluck dinner and live music by the Narrow Gauge String Band.
“The last thing you think of is underwear, because you don’t see them,” PACC board member Pam Matthews said.
The donations will be collected and distributed by the United Methodist Economic Ministry of Salem.
“Even if you don’t live near a collection box, just drop them off at the hospital. There is always a need,” Catino said.
The Underwearness Project is seeking more organizations or business to host a collection box. Anyone looking to get more involved can contact Susan or David Catino at 684-5777. You can also check out their facebook page and the national website, www.underwearness.org.