In the coming weeks, St. Michael Parish in Augusta will help local single mothers who have trouble keeping up with the expenses of caring for their children, according to a news release from Dave Guthro, communications director, Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

Each of the parish’s churches (St. Augustine Church, Augusta; St. Mary of the Assumption Church, Augusta; St. Joseph Church, Gardiner; Sacred Heart Church, Gardiner; St. Denis Church, Whitefield; St. Francis Xavier Church, Winthrop) will have large baskets in the front of each worship site on the weekends of Oct. 24 and 25 and Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

Parishioners and community members are encouraged to participate in the “Help Mothers and Children Bar Soap & Shampoo Collection” by placing bars of soap and bottles of VO5 and Suave shampoos in the baskets.

The donations will be given to the Bridging the Gap program, a community initiative in Augusta that unifies direct services available in the area at the administrative and operational levels. The program helps people connect with community resources that help meet their basic needs, offers opportunities for meaningful volunteerism, and provides the chance for social connection.

At present, Bridging the Gap is in particular need for soap and shampoo. The collection is sponsored by the St. Michael Parish Social Justice & Peace Commission. Contributing to the program is something that has become a labor of love for St. Michael Parish and a welcome source of assistance for the program.

“Bridging the Gap doesn’t change people’s lives. Rather, it provides the space, resources, and support for individuals to change their own lives,” said Sarah Miller, director of the program, according to the release. “We stand on the shoulders of many, and it is only because of strong community support from places like St. Michael Parish that allows us to continue with our work.”

For more information, call St. Michael Parish at 207-623-8823.