On Sunday, one of the cornerstones of our community nearly ceased to exist. The Saugatuck Congregational Church caught on fire. Firefighters came from four communities to battle the blaze. There was a great deal of damage to the Church and parish hall, but fortunately, no one was hurt, and it looks like the fire damage can be repaired. You can read all about the fire on WestportNow.
Of course, one of the saddest parts of this fire, was the impact it had on the annual Thanksgiving dinner the Church prepares for the local community each year. The 30 turkeys were already thawing when the fire struck. The pots, pans, utensils were all covered in soot and fire debris. A new location was needed for the holiday dinner ASAP. The church that is our Boy Scout sponsor quickly jumped in and offered to host the annual dinner. I asked our liaison how the Boy Scout Troop could help. The church members and dinner coordinators were so shocked and overwhelmed trying to deal with the fire, the repercussions and plan the dinner that they really didn't know what help to ask for. I offered again, and they came up with a perfect solution. They needed some deep down cleaning of all those pots and pans to take off the baked on soot and debris. I rallied the troops, so to speak. I emailed the Boy Scouts. I facebooked my friends. I made impassioned pleas to my fellow Westport Young Woman's League members. We set up cleaning stations inside and out of Christ and Holy Trinity Church's kitchen. We bought endless supplies of scouring pads, bleach, rubber gloves and Comet, Barkeeper's Friend and Cameo (those last two being my favorite for cleaning). In the end we had 18 friends and family members helping for three hours. We managed to scrub and disinfect everything. I think it may have looked cleaner when we were done than even before the fire.
Scoutmaster and Scout finish cleaning the very last pot after working hard for three hours scrubbing pots, pans, utensils and more in preparation of the annual Thanksgiving feast for more than 300 community members.
The entire community pulled together. You can read about the efforts on Dan Woog's blog; the Daily Westport; and News 12 Connecticut. Food was donated. Volunteers came out of the woodwork to make the even happen. It was a great showing of community spirit. Some of the youth members who helped us clean said "Thanks for letting me help today. It felt really good."
Now that's what I call doing "a Good Turn Daily."