Lions Club, Blessing Bag Brigade seek assistance to help homeless

MIDDLETOWN – The Middletown Lions Club is continuing to help individuals in need by working with the Blessing Bag Brigade to create “Blessing Bags” for homeless individuals and other disadvantaged populations in the area.

A “Blessing Bag” contains basic necessities most people take for granted, but are not always available to individuals who do not have a home.

The Lions are asking the community to help by donating men’s socks, small bottles of water, travel size toothpaste, travel size body lotion, deodorant, razors, toothbrushes, and snack and breakfast bars, according to a press release.

The goal is to make and distribute 250 bags, according to Middletown Lions President Beverly Bova Scarano.

“It is shocking. COVID-19 has plunged the community into unprecedented times and has also put a terrible strain on the food pantries and charitable programs which are just trying to keep up with demand they have never seen before,” Scarano said.

Members of the public who are interested in donating items for the “Blessing Bags” may drop the items at the Middletown Reformed Church, 121 Kings Highway, Middletown, in the red container at the Education Building at the top of the hill.

Investors Savings Bank is also accepting item drop-off at 192 Kings Highway, Middletown. Donations will be accepted until April 26.

For more information about the project or to make arrangements for large donations or monetary contributions, contact Beverly Bova Scarano at 908-896-1682.

The Middletown Lions Club created the Harvest of HOPE (Helping Other People Excel) community outreach initiative in the fall of 2020 and received tremendous support from the community in the first two phases of the initiative, according to the press release.

The first phase was a food collection drive which targeted and supported severely depleted food pantries and social service programs in the area, providing staples like canned goods, juices, healthy snacks, shelf stable milk, tomato sauce, pasta and other necessities.

The Calico Cat Emergency Food Pantry, the Keyport Ministerium Food Pantry, the Emmanuel Cancer Center and the Backpack Crew were recipients of the collection, according to the press release.

The second phase was conducted to directly help homeless populations in the area survive the winter through the collection of tents, sleeping bags, blankets, propane heaters, propane grills, batteries, paper products, propane camping stoves and other necessities.

Destiny’s Bridge, a nonprofit organization which helps individuals who do not have access to traditional housing, was the direct beneficiary of the winter survival drive, according to the press release.

The Middletown Lions Club is an all-volunteer service organization consisting of men and women who help the community through charitable service and fundraising initiatives and programs.

The club assists individuals and families in need locally and globally through its Middletown Lions Club Foundation. Information about the club is available at