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Moms Team Up with Catholic Charities Maine to Help Seniors Stay Safe

Thanks to some moms in Brunswick, senior citizens in the Augusta area will get some much-need provisions to help protect them from the COVID-19 virus.

“I just wanted to be able to do something,” said Bridget Edmonds, one of the mothers.

Edmonds, a member of All Saints Parish in Brunswick, had reached out to the parish to see if anything was being done to support elderly community members.  That’s when she learned that Catholic Charities Maine had put out the word that it was looking for some supplies to provide to seniors served through its SEARCH program. 

SEARCH, which is acronym for Seek Elderly Alone, Renew Courage & Hope, connects seniors with volunteers who provide assistance and companionship, allowing the seniors to remain in their homes.  SEARCH has 166 clients, including more than 60 in the Augusta area.

Edmonds, who lives near and attends St. Charles Borromeo Church in Brunswick, said there are a lot of mothers in her neighborhood who stay connected through a group text chat, so she reached out to them.

“I sent a message to them saying that this is happening and asking if they could help.  A couple were able to get stuff, and some of them reached out to friends who are outside the neighborhood, and I also shared it with my coworkers,” Edmonds said. “We were all happy to help.”

Some of the mothers donated items they already had, while others picked up extra items during their shopping trips, including making morning runs when supplies were still on shelves.  Items donated included tissue, Lysol wipes, hand sanitizer, hand soap, and toilet paper.

“I saw on Amazon Whole Foods that you could do a home delivery one morning, really early, like at seven o’clock, so I set that up for toilet paper,” said Edmonds.

The supplies were picked up by Bill Wood, an outreach specialist with Catholic Charities Maine Parish Social Ministry, who brought them to the Augusta SEARCH office for delivery to seniors in that area.

“The kindness and generosity of these mothers really brings home the point that, in the current COVID-19 situation, we are all in this together,” Wood said.

“Everyone is vulnerable, but the elderly are the most at risk of developing severe complications, and I can imagine that it could be scary for some of them to have to go to the store and then get there only to find that what they needed to protect themselves isn’t available,” said Edmonds. “It was actually really a gift for them to let us participate. That’s the way it feels. It’s always a gift to have an opportunity to help somebody else out in the way that they need it.”

Due to the Maine CDC recommendations that people stay at home as much as possible, the mothers are making fewer shopping runs, but Edmonds says when they do need to go to the grocery store, they will continue to try to pick up extra items to make sure the seniors have what they need to stay safe.

Pictured above (L to R): Nicole Duchette, Danielle Gustafson, and Bridget Edmonds