Thu, 10/29/2020 - 5:30pm

A thank you and an apology

To the Editor: 

Roll Call Dinner this year delivered a pandemic push-back by serving almost 400 meals as a take-out, drive through event. Spirits soared as cars cruised through the church parking lot to receive weighty bags of our traditional turkey supper “to go.” A record number of meals were delivered to people who weren’t able to get out for themselves.

In an effort to send everyone home with a smile, we probably packed too much food into each container and eventually ran short and had to turn folks away. We prepared the same amount of food that has served 500 meals as a buffet in the past few years, but it just didn’t go as far in our Covid-crisis packaging.

We extend our most sincere apologies to those who came after the food ran out.

Special thanks to Emma Rose Tripler, Jen Lambert, and their amazing team, to everyone who cooked turkeys and baked pies, and to our wonderful community who showed up once again to show your appreciation and support for Harbor Church.

Pastor Peter Preiser
Harbor Church


Donate blood on Nov. 5

To the Editor:

Our next blood drive will be held on Thursday, Nov. 5 at Harbor Church from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. In the last two drives, faithful donors have given 34 donations each time. This is a wonderful response to the pandemic that exists. Donations are generally down everywhere, some drives cancelled altogether. So 34 donations is the typical Block Island response. Please do all you can and keep up or even exceed our wonderful response. The need for blood is urgent.

Appointments are the best way to respond and people now prefer them. It works so well. There is no waiting. To make an appointment, call (401) 453-8383. Walk-ins will be taken as time permits.

Some things to remember:

Age 16 can give with parent’s permission

Age 17 and up may donate and no upper age cutoff

Those who have had Lyme disease may be free to donate. Those who have had Babesiosis may give after two years.

Any questions of eligibility, please call (401) 353-8307 and speak to a specialist.

This is our last Blood Drive of the year. If you have missed one this year, this is your opportunity to catch up. Please make every effort to be there. You can make an appointment today.

Peter Greenman
Rhode Island Blood Center


Donate to Helping Hands, too

To the Editor:

The year 2020 has certainly been one to remember. When the Helping Hands food pantry volunteers look back on this year, we will all especially remember the unwavering support of the Block Island community for those in need of food during the coronavirus pandemic.

When it became clear in March that the food pantry would need to change its frequency and method of distribution, we quickly placed additional food orders, doubled our open pantry days to once a week and arranged outdoor food distributions that were safely managed. At no time during the busy spring were we worried about not having the funds to buy healthy meals for the community. In addition to kitchen staple items like pasta, rice, beans, cereal, and canned goods, we supplied generous bags of fresh fruit and vegetables to patrons weekly, as well as seed starter kits for those inspired to start or expand a garden. Healthy snacks were distributed at school for kids and then some during the early spring and well into May.

None of this would have been possible without community support, but we did not need to ask. Unsolicited donations arrived regularly; you did not allow the pantry shelves to be empty.

Harbor Church generously continues to allow us to use the downstairs space for storage. Interstate Navigation regularly donates freight and passenger fees, and Block Island Grocery provides eggs, bread and other items at reduced prices. As we have every year, we will be offering special foods during the holiday months.

Helping Hands is truly a home-based organization of neighbors helping neighbors. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us. Please also consider a donation this year as you are able, and know that we are extremely grateful for all you have done already. Tax deductible donations may be sent to: Helping Hands of Block Island, PO Box 1066, Block Island, R.I. 02807.

Viktorija Butlevska, (401) 248-1622;
Mimi Leveille, (401) 474-0624;
Linda Spak, Pamela Hinthorn, Joanne
Warfel, Paige Gaffett, David Kane, Anna
Marie Lofaro, Theresa Sisto