AUGUSTA — In the coming weeks, St. Michael Parish plans to help local single mothers who need assistance keeping up with the expenses of caring for their children.

Large baskets will be stationed in the front of each parish church the weekends of Aug. 7-8 and 14-15 for parishioners and community members to drop off toothpaste (5-6 ounce tubes) and shampoo (12-15 ounce bottles) before, during, and after Masses. Toothbrushes will also be collected for those who are able to donate them.

The collection is sponsored by the parish’s Social Justice & Peace Commission to benefit the “Bridging the Gap” program, an initiative in Augusta that helps people connect with resources that help meet their basic needs, offers opportunities for meaningful volunteerism, and provides the chance for social connection.

For those able to donate, the Mass information for the parish and addresses for each parish church is as follows:

St. Augustine Church, 75 Northern Ave., Augusta, 4 p.m. Saturdays and 10:30 a.m. Sundays;

St. Mary Church, 41 Western Ave., Augusta, 7 and 9 a.m. Sundays;

St. Joseph Church, 110 School St., Gardiner, 10 a.m. Sundays;

Sacred Heart Church, 14 Summer St., Hallowell, 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8 only;

St. Denis Church, 298 Grand Army Road, Whitefield, 4 p.m. Saturdays; and

St. Francis Xavier Church, 130 Route 133, Winthrop, 5:30 p.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m. Sundays.

“‘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 a news release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland. “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. We thank anyone who can donate for joining us in envisioning a community in which everyone is given the opportunity to thrive and live with dignity.”

For more information or to drop off a donation during the week, contact St. Michael Parish at 207-623-8823 or [email protected].

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