The Basket Lady
In the Good Humor Town, some things are hard to understand, so I’ll ask the question, why would someone take money from the donation box at the Free Shop?
Margaret McNeal would have given the few donated dollars and cents to the individual(s), if they had simply asked her.
The Mexico Free Shop is a worthwhile resource that serves the citizens of the River Valley Communities at no cost.
The physical building, volunteers, donors and Margaret McNeal, bless our communities by giving their time to help those in need.
Some things are hard to understand. Maybe because they don’t make sense.
A basketful of grace is needed in our communities and although people are not loving and loyal all the time, nothing has to get in the way of our acting with loving-kindness and not giving up on others.
Friends, I’m sending out an open letter in this column to each and every one of you...First of all, I’d like to express my appreciation for all of your support to the Basket Lady.
A little history…
Dot Sanchas recruited me to be her courier in 1996. That meant whenever she called, I was to just go out into the neighborhoods with the baskets of food and/or clothing that she’d put together for those individuals in need.
We started doing our “courier service” together when she ran the Free Store on Congress Street in Rumford.
Dot asked only one thing of me and that was to, “Quietly do our good deeds without bringing attention to ourselves.”
Until she passed away in 2008, Dot had me running all over the River Valley, driving through sleet or snow, sunshine or rain to get her Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets to families before the holidays.
Dot said many memorable things to me but when she said, "I don’t care one bit about peoples’ praise of me good or ill, I only care about what’s between me and my God." I knew right then and there that she was one of God’s angels.
Her brother, Allan Gallant, called me the Basket Lady every time I’d show up at the Free Store to pick up donated baskets.
Dot Sanchas was my mentor and beloved friend; and the basket lady desires to pay tribute to her legacy of kindness by continuing the mission of get a basket-give a basket that she started years ago.
Thank you for the generous donations of baskets along with the various items that are given to go into the baskets; and most of all, for showing a kindness to the basket lady by your donations.
Kindness not only counts but it adds up!
We miss you every day, Dot Sanchas! Until then, smile and live in the present.