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The shop also offers free cloth-
ing to anyone in need, especially those displaced from their home due to a fire or other tragic life events.
Other donations accepted for the thrift store include books, toys, games and puzzles. They also take CDs, DVDs, baby items, curtains, linens, pictures and frames. Small kitchen appliances, household items, cards and decorative pieces are also welcomed.
In addition to the thrift shop, BCS has a furniture shop, located just around the corner on N. Main Street, with quality pieces of all kinds available, too.
Programs to assist local resi-
Women’s Clothing
Nancy Spears
June 2021
dents are plentiful as well. Perhaps their best-known program is the food pantry, serving income-qual- ifying residents of Alexandria, Bridgewater, Bristol, Groton and Hebron. Donations of cash or nonperishable items for the pan- try are needed throughout the year, but are especially welcomed during the holidays when needs rise.
BCS also looks after the nutri- tional needs of children through their Got Lunch Newfound pro- gram. An eight-week summer food program, Got Lunch Newfound, focuses on serving recipients free and reduced lunch in Newfound Regional School District. Through the program, qualified students receive weekly bags of healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vege-
tables, which can help a family get through the summer months when their children aren’t in school.
As Back-to-School time ap- proaches, the BCS Backpack pro- gram is another popular service to the community. Food pantry clients with children from Pre-K through 12th grade are invited, at that time, to stop by and select a backpack of their choice. They can then fill that backpack with supplies, also of their choosing, at the “Free Shop” on the lawn be- hind the thrift store.
“In the last 15 years we have given out almost four hundred new backpacks to local kids in need,” Colby said.
Besides their year-round monthly food supplies, BCS pro- vides Thanksgiving food baskets to
qualified clients, too. Each year in December they also coordinate a Secret Santa program in conjunc- tion with the Knights of Columbus (formerly with Catherine Currier), providing Christmas gifts for local families in need. Once the date for that program expires, a Santa’s Free Toy Shop opens for parents who may have missed out on the earlier opportunity to select new Christmas toys for their children.
Last but not least, BCS offers fi- nancial assistance for electric shut- off notifications, heating assistance, and medical co-payments. They also provide gasoline assistance for clients who need to get to work, seek employment, or go to medi- cal or social services appointments.
“We wouldn’t be able to pro- vide for our clients without your
(the community’s) generosity,” Colby said. “We send a heartfelt thank you to our financial donors, our thrift shop donors and our shoppers! We are also very thank- ful for our amazing volunteers that work tirelessly to keep the thrift shop going strong and looking great.”
Bristol Community Services is located at 24 Pleasant St. in Bristol, across from Cumberland Farms. Their hours of operation are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to noon on Sat- urdays.
The Furniture Shop, found at 21 N. Main St., is typically open Mondays and Fridays during those same hours, but should someone wish to browse their selection on Wednesdays and Saturdays, they can simply stop by the Thrift Shop for access.
Colby and the volunteers ask that donations to Bristol Com- munity Services be dropped off only during their regular business hours. Special arrangements may otherwise be made by calling 744-2222.
Gemstone & Glass Beads • Sterling & Gold-filled Findings Mineral Specimens • Books • Tumbled Stones • Fossils Smudging Wands • Incense • Stone & Sterling Jewelry Crystals • Open Year Round
2 Central Square, Bristol, NH 03222 (603) 744-6172 |
Tues-Sat: 10-5, Sunday: 10-4 Rt. 3-A, Bridgewater
North Star Gems

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