NGA seeks new clothing, gifts for those in need

The Allentown/Upper Freehold/ Washington Township NGA will hold its annual covered dish luncheon Nov. 5 at noon at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, Allentown-Yardville Road, Allentown. The event is open to the community. During this year’s program, the St. John’s Children’s Choir will perform.

NGA, also known as New Garments Always or The Needlework Guild, has been meeting in the Allentown area for the past 81 years. Founded in England in the late 1890s, the Allentown chapter is one of the oldest in the United States. During the organization’s annual covered dish luncheon, the women who are affiliated with all the area’s churches and organizations share stories, laughter, and a genuine sense of community involvement and connection.

The members come together for the purpose of collecting new garments, toiletries and gifts for local charities. Last year, the group collected 1,254 items of new clothing and toiletries and $735 in monetary donations. Various agencies come and speak about their programs, and some agencies use the new items for gifts for their clients during Christmas and birthdays. Agencies such as the Children’s Home Society use the newborn clothing items to send each child home to a foster family in a new outfit.

The agencies supported by the NGA this year are: Anchor House, a youth shelter in Trenton for ages 10-17 (items needed include socks, coats, school clothing, toiletries); Children’s Home Society of New Jersey (mostly items for infants up to 24 months); New Lisbon Developmental Center, an agency for adults, mostly male, who are developmentally challenged (especially needed are clothes for those seeking jobs); Trenton Psychiatric Hospital (mostly large men and women’s clothing, also Christmas gifts for residents who have no one to visit them); Womanspace Inc., a juvenile, youth and adult shelter for abused women and their children (adult and children’s clothing, backpacks, stuffed animals); and The Mount Carmel Guild, dedicated to the needs of the working poor (clothing for those seeking employment, as well as for families who need help making ends meet).

Anyone who would like to participate or would like to donate items is asked to call Rosemarie Totten, (609) 259-9737.