Bridgeville outreach center seeking new quarters
The Community Outreach Center has outgrown its space in Bridgeville in just three years.
For Pauline Donnelly and Lori Snatchko, the center’s co-directors, its growth is a reminder that there are more people who need their help.
The center, located at 715 Washington Ave., serves the people of Bridgeville and surrounding communities in its 200-square-foot space.
“We started with about 20 food boxes, a few coats and some diapers,” Snatchko said. “Now, we have hundreds of coats, bags of food, hats, gloves and scarves.”
A ministry of Grace Community Church in Bridgeville, the center started by assisting three families; now 15 to 30 families and individuals depend on the volunteers who open the pantry on the first and third Saturdays of every month. Members of the 40- to 50-family fill up food boxes with about $20 of supplies.
Most who come are regulars.
“In winter, there is a greater need,” Donnelly said. “Seasonal workers are laid off, fuel bills are higher. There are more expenses in the winter.”
Having reached last year’s peak in November, she is anticipating the center will need more items this winter.
“We meet the emergency, the most urgent needs,” she said.
Earlier this year, the center began offering personal care items when the women learned food stamps can’t be used to purchase toiletries.
Holiday items will be added to the boxes this month and next.
Recently, there has been a greater need to assist young families, especially the children.
“Consignment shops have been very generous,” she said.
They’ve begun looking at a few buildings.
“But the rent is more than we can afford,” Snatchko said. “We operate 100 percent on donations.”
Ideally, the new site would be near the main street and easily accessible to those with disabilities. “We’re trying to do what we were called to do,” she said. “It’s not easy to ask for help in a trying time. “We give them our love and help every way we can.”
Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or [email protected].