Outreach Opportunities

Midnight Run

On Friday, June 12th, St. John’s participated in our regularly scheduled Midnight Run. Because of the corona virus, we weren’t sure we’d be going in. But, based on the experiences of other groups who had done runs, we decided at the last minute to do the run. Fortunately, except for lunches, we didn’t need to ask for donations of clothing or toiletries but used what we had in our closets. All the sorting and packing was done at the Piersons’ rather than at the church. We made bags of toiletries and prepacked clothing bags with underwear, socks and one long-sleeved and one short sleeved shirt, labeled by size. We also took in baseball caps and masks (donated by our local MasksforNY organization). Melissa and Nancy very much missed the many extra hands we were used to for this labor-intensive part of the run!

Despite being at the last minute, St. John’s responded to just one email to make over 100 lunches. Knowing we wouldn’t need this many; we offered the excess to another group going in that night that need them. They were much appreciated.

Based on advice from Midnight Run, we went in with only two cars, one family in each—Pete and Tim Bennitt and Frank and Melissa Pierson. At each stop, card tables were placed between the car and the clients so the bags could be passed across while maintaining a safe distance. The clients were already used to this new system and lined up respectfully and most wore masks.

Although the usual hot food and drinks were missing and there was no choice in the clothing (other than size), their appreciation was evident. We missed the conversations that were usually the highlights of past runs. In 6 stops, we met about 45 people including 5 women. Since we were prepared to hand out more bags, we have a good start for our next run. But our closets are now depleted of many items. Now that we know how to do a Run in this new way, we hope to participate in another run close to Labor Day. Expect to see a request for supplies later this summer, and lunches as we get close to the Run. We’ll also need teams to go into the City on the Run.

Many, many thanks to all who participated from the lunches to the past donors who had filled our closet.

Melissa Pierson