Tabor helps Coast Guard families during federal shutdown
MARION — When the federal shutdown stretched on for a month and hit local Coast Guard members hard, Ann Richard decided to start a local drive to get service members and their families what they most need.
Richard serves as the Director of Library Services at Tabor Academy, and decided to use her library as a local collection point for items, with a particular focus on the items that most other people miss: baby food, wipes and diapers.
“I just pay attention to what’s going on in the news. It’s not an easy thing to think about, not having an income for that long,” Richard said to explain why she wanted to start the drive.
She added that one of her library staff, Casey O’Donnell, has a brother in the coast guard in Connecticut who is also impacted by the shutdown.
Richard had heard of collection points at the Zeiterion in New Bedford, but wanted to do something for families who might feel the shutdown’s impacts more locally.
“There are a lot of federal workers without pay, but a lot of Coast Guard members in the area, so I thought it would be good to support them,” Richard said, adding that “there’s been a lot of people who want to do something to help, but don’t know what to do.”
So she called the Cape Cod Military Support Foundation to find out what she could do.
There, “Don Cox said, ‘we really need to focus on children. We get a lot of donations for food and other perishables, but that’s something that gets overlooked,’” Richard recounted.
Richard started the drive on Jan. 21 by sending an email out to Tabor Academy faculty and staff. Students in the Community Service Club also learned about the donation drive and made an announcement at the Tuesday all school meeting.
The collections from the donation drive will be distributed on Friday, Jan. 25, and every Friday on an ongoing basis until the shutdown is over.
“Even if it ends soon, people aren’t going to get paid right away. And they have been without a paycheck for a month,” Richard pointed out.
Marion or other tri-town residents who would like to donate can bring donations to Tabor Academy’s Stroud Academic Center (232 Front Street) or the Hayden Library (71 Spring Street).
Questions may be directed to Richard at 508-291-8564 or Lauren Boucher at 508-291-8375 or firstname.lastname@example.org.