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Friday, December 15, 2023

Retail Rescue: New, Unused Clothing Finds its Way to People in Need Thanks to Volunteer Dan Scanlon

From brand new winter coats, Nike sneakers and sweatpants, to dresses, sweaters, blouses, and children’s play clothes––Christmas came early for many clients across Catholic Charities Boston’s programs, all thanks to a major clothing donation from an anonymous retail store.

Coordinating this generous donation behind the scenes was Dan Scanlon, a longtime resident of Massachusetts who was inspired to help people in need after attending an annual Seven Fishes dinner that raises money for the Agency’s Labouré Center in South Boston. As a Catholic, Dan said Catholic Charities’ mission to serve and walk alongside those most in need resonated with him and left him wanting to get involved in some way.

This summer, opportunity struck through Dan’s connections to a major retailer. The retailer had a bulk order of brand new, high-quality clothing on their hands that was slated to be thrown away. Dan was able to convince the leadership team of a better solution––to donate the items to an organization helping people in need, Catholic Charities being among the first to come to mind.

“It didn’t matter to me if the person who received the clothing was Catholic or not; what mattered was that it could help anyone who came to Catholic Charities in need,” said Dan.

Weeks later, Dan arrived at the Labouré Center with a U-Haul full of clothing that staff helped distribute to residents at St. Ambrose Family Shelter, St. Patrick’s Shelter, and the Catholic Charities Inn, as well as clients from the Labouré Center, Catholic Charities Merrimack Valley, Catholic Charities South, and the Teen Center.

“The following Monday, I received this great email saying they had sorted through the bags and got to hear of the people that it helped,” said Dan. “One woman who has received assistance from the Agency said, ‘This is unbelievable. I didn’t know what I was going to wear this winter because it was getting so cold out.’ It was awesome to see that it made a difference.”

Learn more about how you can support Catholic Charities Boston’s clients in need this holiday season and beyond here. Part 7 of our Twelve Days of Giving Series, sharing heartwarming stories about people spreading joy and compassion within our community this holiday season.

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