Parishoners from St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church with back-to-school items donated to families at the Village at Cataumet shelter in Bourne.

Elisha Klokova (from left), Anastasia Klokova, Erica Kjendal, Emmelia Kjendal, Mary Kjendal, and Cecelia Kjendal with the back-to-school donations they dropped off for children at the Village at Cataumet.

A group of parishioners from St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church dropped off nearly 30 backpacks filled with pencils, markers, scissors, rulers, calculators, notebooks and more for children staying at the Village at Cataumet, Housing Assistance’s family shelter in Bourne.

The back-to-school donations are just the latest example of the generosity the Cotuit church has shown to the family shelter since 2016. They organized a Mother’s Day lunch in May and a harvest festival last fall. From Valentine’s Day to Easter to Christmas, the church collects donations to give to families staying at Cataumet.

“It’s just great, especially during the holidays,” said Paula Mallard, Assistant Director of FIS Shelters, noting that these acts of charity show just how much the community cares for the families at the shelter. “They [clients] truly appreciate all of it.”

Parishioner Alyssa Kjendal said this work aligns with the mission of the church which is “to help those who need help.”

It’s a mission that fellow parishioners, like Anastasia Klokova, have embraced. “I just like to help people, especially people in the community who are our neighbors,” she said.