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Charlestown's Generosity Evident in Response to Johnnie's Closure

Local residents are teaming up to offer supermarket shuttle services to others in the area.

With Johnnies closing in less than a week, Charlestown will be without a supermarket until the construction of Whole Foods is completed. In such little notice, the Townie Association quickly responded to the issue by starting a petition for shuttle services. As president of the Townie Association, I would like to thank all those who signed our petition and for your support.

When walking around Charlestown and knocking on doors to receive signatures, I witnessed the generosity of Charlestown come alive. Many neighborhoods do not have what we have: a community that cares. To hear the good news of neighbors quickly starting their own shuttle service or receiving emails and phone calls from neighbors offering their time to drive people to other local supermarkets so that others in need can put food on their tables was truly heart touching.

With the holidays fast approaching, Charlestown natives are quickly addressing the issue and thinking of others at this time. Melissa Doherty is organizing a grassroots carpool service for those who need rides to the grocery store. She currently has 15 volunteers who are ready to drive their neighbors when needed.

Mike Lewis created his own shuttle service that stops in many areas around Charlestown.

Another Townie, Alyse Fiamma, quickly organized her own grassroots shuttle service, but she chooses to focus on grocery shopping for her clients and then delivering the items to their homes instead.

Other Charlestown residents, such as Danny Ryan, Jennifer Fiddler and Kelly Garvey Pellagrini, have set the standard by offering to drive their neighbors as well. In many ways, the grassroots way is the most successful way to approach things. I applaud all of you for stepping up to the plate in such an urgent time of need.

This past week, Fr. Ronan’s (the pastor of Saint Mary-Saint Catherine of Siena Parish) homily was about generosity, about giving of one’s self. With the holidays drawing near, this is the perfect opportunity to be generous. There are more ways to be generous than donating money towards a cause. For example, offering your time to drive someone to the supermarket.

I am challenging you during this season of giving: if you have a car and are going to the grocery store, call your neighbor or knock on their door and ask if they would like to come.

If you know an elderly or disabled person, or someone who does not own a vehicle, offer them a ride to the supermarket. Ask them if there is anything they want you to pick up for them.

We often think of being generous as giving the extra things we have in life, but sometimes we can be generous with what we have; in this case it could simply asking your neighbor if they would like to join you as you shop at the local supermarket or picking up a few items for someone else while you are already there. I am confident that Charlestown can overcome issue on our own, but it starts with you.  

As the holidays quickly approach us, please think of others in need. The reason why Charlestown is such a great community is because the people of Charlestown are always willing to help each other out. So when you are going to the grocery store this week, please think of your neighbors and ask if they need a lift. You will be doing someone a big favor, and in a sense will be doing something generous.

Charlestown Carpool and Shuttle Information 

Grassroots Carpool Service—If you would like to volunteer with Melissa Doherty’s grassroots carpool service or you know someone that may need a ride to the supermarket store, please email her at mdoherty15@msn.com.

Charlestown Shuttle Service—Offered by Mike Lewis, 617-388-9070. Available Tuesday through Saturday from 2-8 p.m. Please see designated pick-up locations below; picks up every 30 minutes. Cost: $10 round-trip service and drop-off at home.

Pick-up spots:

  • Main and Middlesex Streets (next door to Sovereign Bank) at the bus stop.
  • Corner of Main and Green Streets (Citizens Bank).
  • Corner of Warren and Winthrop Streets, in front of St. Mary’s Church.
  • Corner of Bunker Hill and Lexington Streets.
  • Medford and Tufts Streets, in front of the Newtowne Store.

(Please note: Shuttle service for shoppers only, no room for children and friends. Vehicle holds four people and groceries).

Also: There will be no shuttle service on Thursday, Nov. 22 and Friday, Nov. 23. Service will resume on Nov. 24.

Shop & Drop—Offered by Alyse Fiamma, 617-866-0325. Available Monday through Thursday after 2 p.m. Transportation to the store of your choice, $5 charge. Grocery shops for you and delivers it to your door.

CSullivan November 16, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Owen you never said we need to be more inclusive or ask me if I have ever lived anywhere else (seems you implied I was ignorant), Seamus never said cab drivers would through bricks through peoples car windows (sound advice can be put more nicely), and you Joseph never said no one came looking for signatures for us (the petition is online and us excludes you and your friends from the us). This thread has gotten away from the issue I admit and I have no right to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do for their community. But it is frustrating when people complain without doing anything. I will help Sean like have done with his other projects with the Townies Association and he has done with mine. Hopefully I can meet you all doing the same thing. And if you want to go at my character further feel free to email me at caitlin.rodsully@gmail.com, I would love to discuss further how I sit in my ivory tower judging who helps and who doesn't.
Owen November 16, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Once again, we're running into the same issues with your response. I said no one is sitting in their ivory tower complaining about this effort to help other and not actually doing anyhting to help out. It was not directed at you. I'm not sure how I can make that any simpler. Also, once again, we're running into issues with you taking sarcasm literally. From the get-go this was all about making sure that no one was going to run afoul of any legal issues. I did ask if you'd ever lived anywhere else. It was just a question. No one was implying that you're ignorant. Have a good one.
Just a person! November 16, 2012 at 07:25 PM
It is very simple, If you want to help, help! If you want to volunteer ,volunteer! If you want to post, on here and make argument, on what other people are trying to do,please go elsewhere. That simple. God help me, I have gone to the store for my neighbors,given them rides, have shoveled their sidewalks, and even done repairs in and on their property for free, maybe I should stop because they might sue me. Or maybe I will be in trouble for not claiming the sometime monetary gifts, That is what they call human kindness! Maybe some of the people out there should try it, maybe you would not be so bitter or unhappy. Try saying good morning to a neighbor , it is a beginning!
Owen November 16, 2012 at 07:50 PM
*sigh* Ok, cool. Even though you missed the point completely and are choosing to instead rant about a false reality.
Becca Manning November 16, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Hey guys, I think we've had some good dialogue on here, and I appreciate that this is a topic everyone is passionate about, but I think we've about run out the conversation, so I'm going to turn off comments on this article. If you've got a lot more to say on the issue, or any issue in Charlestown, please feel free to submit a letter to the editor to me at becca.manning@patch.com. My intent is never to stifle discussion but to make sure it's moving forward when possible. Thanks again for all the comments! —Becca M.

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