LIMERICK — In an effort to help veterans in need of assistance, St. Matthew Parish in Limerick will be collecting items for gift baskets on the weekends of June 11-12 and June 18-19. Items needed are snacks, candies, toiletries, and clothing items like socks and gloves. Anyone able to donate is asked to bring the items to the church (19 Dora Lane) before, during, or after Masses on those weekends. Weekend Masses at St. Matthew are celebrated on Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 8 a.m.

The gift baskets will be distributed through the Sanford Vet Center on 628 Main Street in Springvale. The center offers confidential help for veterans, service members, and their families at no cost, including counseling, referral services, and community engagement. It is open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and can be contacted at 207-490-1513.

The initiative at St. Matthew is being organized by the parish’s Armed Services Outreach Group, which hosts an annual Veterans Day Mass and breakfast, holds collections to benefits veterans, sends letters to veterans of all faiths or no faith in the community, and offers support to Honor Flight Maine, an organization that transports veterans to Washington, D.C., so they can tour war memorials. The group also raises money for Paws for Purple Hearts, an organization that uses veterans to train service dogs which are then given to wounded veterans to aid in their recovery.

For more information about the project or the Armed Services Outreach Group, contact St. Matthew Parish at 207-793-2244 or