Saint Mark’s ReMARKable Sharing Shed
On the Clinton Street side of our campus, our Sharing Shed is a community space where community members can donate and access various items, fostering a spirit of generosity and support for those in need.
Early in the winter of 2020-21 the Vestry of Saint Mark’s discussed and prayed about how we could best support our neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our local feeding programs had either closed or significantly reduced their services to our community. Many people were out of work, and schools were closed to those children who had been dependent on the schools for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
On February 1, 2021, the Saint Mark’s ReMARKable Sharing Shed opened its doors to our neighbors. The shed was stocked with emergency food supplies and those necessary items not covered by SNAP benefits. Our seed money came from a generous parishioner who donated her $600 stimulus check. Donations from our congregation and members of the community have continued to maintain and stock the Shed. In 2023 the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester awarded a grant of $2000 toward the operation of the Shed.
The team met in the spring of 2023 to evaluate the need to continue the mission and what, if any, changes in operation were necessary. It was determined that the need still existed but that now that the feeding programs were open again we should shift our program to necessary non-food items. For example, SNAP does not cover paper products such as toilet paper and paper towels. Neither does it cover laundry or dish detergent nor any personal care needs such as tampons, shaving cream, shampoo or conditioner, and bar soap or gel.
A few times a year we provide socks and underwear for kids and once a year we provide warm socks for adults.
We have no idea how many people use the Shed as we do not want people to feel that they need to prove their needs to us. We just assume there is a need. We know that there are members of the community who bring items to the Shed to share, and while we don’t know who they are, we appreciate their contributions.