SCARBOROUGH — The middle of the summer is hardly the time you’d expect to find Christmas trees in the churches of St. John Paul II Parish, but this year, in an effort to help new arrivals to Maine, the homeless, and veterans, they stand adorned with tags of generosity in the narthex of each.

“The parish’s Social Justice and Peace Commission is sponsoring this initiative,” said Kris Benson, pastoral life coordinator at the parish. “People can come and take a tag which will have an item on it. The individual will then get the item and return it to any of the three parish churches. The drive will run through the month of July.”

A variety of items appear on the tags, including canned vegetables, canned fruits, bags of rice or beans, pasta, bottle juice, evaporated milk, plastic totes, and new or gently used winter coats and boots.

Starting next week, the “Christmas in July” trees can be found at:

  • St. Bartholomew Church, 8 Two Lights Road, Cape Elizabeth
  • St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 150 Black Point Road, Scarborough
  • Holy Cross Church, 124 Cottage Road, South Portland

The St. John Paul II Social Justice and Peace Commission organizes and supports opportunities for all parishioners and community members to involve themselves in helping people in need.

For more information about the commission or “Christmas in July,” please call Kris Benson at 207-883-0334, extension 1206.