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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.

Joseph November 15, 2012 at 03:34 PM
@Karen & @CSullivan - You make me laugh. You're being critical of points I make about legitimate concerns (unlicensed for fee services). You failed to acknowledge the props I gave as well. Why is that? I swear, it's people like you that are the problem, not me. I'll take care of helping in my own way instead of contributing to the already established services that were just established. And I won't be blowing smoke up my own ass to seek out praise from my neighbors, especially neighbors like you. Good luck in your endeavors.
Tim November 15, 2012 at 03:36 PM
You know, sometimes you can choose how you take things. I'm not a Townie, I didn't grow up here and I don't know Sean. I'm not offended, nor do I feel excluded. The guy put a lot of time and effort into organizing something. I share a lot of his concerns about providing transportation and the people I know who are impacted are primarily seniors at St. Mary's. I've had several conversations to check and make sure that these folks can get what they need. It was pretty cool to hear that most of them had already been taken care of by these things that Sean and the Townie Organization has organized. I'll still try to help in some way, and obviously I'll keep checking to make sure that they have what they need and offer rides. This is all good.
CSullivan November 15, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Joseph if you actually had something good to say you wouldn't have brought anything negative into this. I have trouble taking people seriously who act big and tough from behind a computer screen. Have you ever even volunteered or made an attempt to meet people around the town, and I include everyone new comers and people who have lived here for generations. I seriously doubt you have made any effort, besides that of complaining on here. Also if you have problem with the CNC go vote on Saturday. I have a low opinion of people who offer complaints just to had a 'but' in the end so they can bring negativity to a positive thing. Shame on you. I didn't acknowledge your 'props' as you put it, because quite frankly they were not sincere, if they were you would not have added a negative comment. And referring to Karen and myself as 'people like you' just shows what type of human being you are. Try being more like Tim here. AGAIN I am proud of what Sean and the Townie Organization has done. End of story. I do not need to add a 'but'.
Joseph November 15, 2012 at 05:24 PM
@CSullivan - You want to perceive my statement about potential problems as being negative, so be it. It was an attempt to be helpful. You don't want to believe my positive comments as sincere, so be it. Those are your problems, not mine. Makes me wonder the type of human being you are to perceive valid issues as being negative. Especially when it could have a direct impact on those that benefit from this service. Maybe you need to be more like me with these types of concerns. Do you always go into something without looking at the bigger picture? Keep those blinders on CS. And to make myself even more clear, I DON'T have a problem with the services being provided! I was simply offering up a valid concerns that should be thought about. In the meantime, I'll continue to support all the causes that I support and not seek the attention that others, like yourself, are looking for. Joseph aka The Internet Tough Guy (HAHAHAHA!!!!) G'day
CSullivan November 15, 2012 at 08:26 PM
No one is looking for attention, this article was meant to be informative and thankful to the community of Charlestown. People have mentioned that they do not know who you are, but have noticed you bring nothing but negativity to the table. If you don't have a problem with the services provided, than why talk about people suing others. Those receiving these services will not sue, but rather be grateful for the help, that you obviously are not capable of giving. And perhaps you thought I was actually being serious when I called you tough, no I was mocking you. You sir are a fool, far from tough. If you actually cared as you claimed, than offer to help Sean, instead of criticizing his efforts, since you have made no efforts in this community at all besides ranting and raving on the internet. And since you seem to all knowing, meet with him and share your ideas. The same with the CNC or any other organization you most likely have issues with. But I doubt you will, because you seem to be brave behind a computer screen, but when it comes to actually doing something and working with a community organization to make things better you're not there. I can say this because I am actually involved in this community and I have never heard of you until now. So here is some advice, if you think you have something to offer than bring it up in person to people, try to help out, because your complaining and criticising without actually doing anything makes you sound ridiculous.
Joseph November 15, 2012 at 09:51 PM
"this article was meant to be informative and thankful to the community of Charlestown. " - I expressed kudos to the effort, I brought up a point about liability. Listen CS, I honestly don't care what you, nor your friends that don't me, think of me. I know I'm able to go to bed with a clear conscience, and when I pass, I'll be seeing Peter at the pearly gates. I hope the shuttle works out. I hope nothing happens that put these volunteers at risk. Unfortunately, your simple mind refuses to look at the bigger picture of this service. Here's my advice to you: Every great idea has to be looked at in its entirety. That means the pros and the cons. If you fail to recognize the bad, you're gonna get burned. Even if the pros outweigh the cons (which they should), you still have to consider the cons. There's my lesson for you. Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. G'day.
CSullivan November 15, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Joseph if you're looking to get the last word, you will not get from me. You know nothing about this community, all of those concerns have been brought into consideration, so stop your relentless whining. I don't know you, but the thumb print you have left on this site has shown everyone, you are not worth knowing, because unlike Sean Boyle here you are not a good person. Good people help when they see in an issue and don't complain. So you still have not answered me, instead of complaining about this community so much, offer some help. Have you decided a way to volunteer? Or is complaining and constantly mentioning the cons your strong point. If you're going to live in this town, you'll have to learn complaining about things gets you nowhere besides looking like a fool, which you seem to do very well. If you have issues with this community than leave, or better yet start making things happen. Because let's face it sitting behind a computer screen is just plain cowardly. Hope to see you somewhere other than on here, maybe a community meeting? Or at a community fundraiser? Or even volunteering for a local nonprofit? Better yet at the CNC elections on Saturday. Have a good night and remember complaining gets you nowhere, but making your mark like Sean here makes good things happen. : )
Seamus O'Sullivan November 15, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Caitlin, I'd encourage you to re-read my post. Then maybe re-read it again (same for you Owen). I'm all for people volunteering to take their friends, neighbors et. al. to the grocery store. I said it last week when Sean Boyle posted about it and I'll say it again. What I was referring to, if you took the time to read it correctly, was the people clearly trying to make a profit off of an otherwise kind, neighborly deed. I'd hardly call "generosity" and "townie spirit" charging some elderly person $10 to go 2 miles for groceries.
Owen November 15, 2012 at 10:47 PM
"It's okay. Townies will take care of it .. Matter of fact, some Townies already have!" I can see how some people could percieve this as attempting to draw a line between locals and non-locals, when the fact of the matter is that many, if not most, of us who were not born and raised in Charlestown do care. We're not stick up the butt yuppies like some percieve us to be. Perhaps "Townies" believe that us "Toonies" need to go out of our way to respect their "way of life", but a bit more of an inclusive attitude would go a long way. This effort to help the community is valiant and commendable. However, the warnings are valid. Sometimes even the best of intentions can have negative ramifications for those involved. Just make sure you a$$es are covered here.
CSullivan November 15, 2012 at 11:18 PM
No one said Townies will take care of it. We are a lot more inclusive than you all say, fact is you all sit behind your computers and complain about how anyone does anything to help this community. Why don't you all actually volunteer and and start helping out, because complaining and not doing anything makes you all seem foolish. Sean and myself included volunteer with organizations and help out regularly, while the rest of you complain about Charlestown and its residents. If you hate them so much and how things are done than leave, if you actually want to make a difference than come to event, volunteer, do something, because sitting behind your computer screen will get you nowhere.
CSullivan November 15, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Well Seamus if you'd like to volunteer for free, go ahead, doubt you will. Why don't you get up, go sign up for something. Help this community because you obviously have a lot of negative things to say, so instead of saying them how about taking action. Or are you just a big talker? You want to be a part of this community than do something. I know plainly of 'yuppies' who volunteer and help out and are what I consider true townies, because the way they act towards others. You are not, you complain without offering any help, so excuse me if I find anything you say ridiculous. If you have a problem with this project or any other for that matter go volunteer and speak to the people. Don't talk behind a computer screen.
Seamus O'Sullivan November 16, 2012 at 12:00 AM
I get it. Townies are willing to volunteer, as long as they get paid for it. Thanks for the clarification.
CSullivan November 16, 2012 at 12:13 AM
I volunteer for free for my nonprofit organization, what about you, what organization do you give your time to?
Sean Boyle November 16, 2012 at 05:53 AM
Thank you. I appreciate your suggestions, concerns, and input - Seamus and Joseph. Fortunately, it's all been taken care of. Secondly, this article is for EVERYONE in Charlestown.This is a positive story highlighting a community coming together in order to help all those in need. It has nothing to do with being a Townie or not, so please don't turn it into that. It is an article of encouragement, to remind people to help their neighbors. Have you helped anyone today? I am sure Melissa and her grassroots carpool effort could use volunteers. Maybe try emailing her? Or if you know anyone that needs a lift to the supermarket, try suggesting one of the above. Or if you have a car, simply drive them yourself. Just remember, as I said in my article "it starts with you." I am sorry that we couldn't reach out to everyone in the town, maybe you can help us? The Townie Association welcomes and includes everyone in Charlestown - matter of fact, that's one of our goals. I want all these newcoming residents to feel welcomed and included in our neighborhood. We also want them to participate in community events, such as the parade. I have no time or respect for segregation or things that might make the neighborhood feel separated. Whether you're from Charlestown or you just moved here, one thing is for sure: you are proud of it! Shoot me an email smboyle324@gmail.com, I would love to hear your recommendations. Owen, that statement was in response to Seamus' constant degrading of Townies
Joseph November 16, 2012 at 01:32 PM
CS - How many times are you going to mention how great a person you are, how much you volunteer, and how all should follow in your footsteps? Now that we all know how great you think you are, you're still too moronic to realize the main point I was pointing out. One suggestion to consider and you've turned it into posts all about you. A big ole golf clap going out to you. Get over yourself sweetie. Sean - I commend you for your work on putting this all together. I'm glad you've considered the potential issues. I apologize that these posts got off track. G'day
CSullivan November 16, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Joseph my main point is not that I am a great person it is, I had an issue an instead of being a moron and complaining on the internet, I took action. Unlike you. You go on here complain about how things are done without doing anything. So why not do something? Sean knows the issues and is working on them why not stop going on here, email him or call him and help, for once. Complainers get nowhere. I gurantee you, you'll have a response to this, but you still won't do anything. Haha all talk no game. Call Sean.
The Workingman November 16, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Wow I am tired after reading that ... You guys are funny... You should do that act at the end of the world be a great comedy show... Sorry had to comment
CSullivan November 16, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Haha jason! You know I let no one win arguments even you....
Owen November 16, 2012 at 03:02 PM
You're still at this? No one is complaining about people helping others in the community. The only thing I read were warnings about have ducks in a row regarding lisencing, which apparently they are. You presume that since we're not exactly in lock step with you that we don't do something for the community. You should sit back and think before you start angrily tapping away at the keyboard, wagging your finger in peoples' facing over this percieved chronic complain you think is going on. Where else have you lived in this country? My 12 years of active duty in the Coast Guard have had me living in the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, and now Boston, and I, along with my fellow service members, save lives. If that's not doing something for the community then I don't know what is. I hate to go that route, but you should understand that not everyone serves the community the same way that you do. Can you ponder that for a second before you fire back? In fact can we just put this whole thing to rest, or do you need the last word?
Just a person! November 16, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Unbelievable! Seamus,Joseph, you guys could find a problem with anything. I honestly think that you would be afraid to help someone, thinking that the person would sue you for being kind! Best thing for you to do is nothing, what you are probaly good at!
CSullivan November 16, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Actually Owen I have lived in France and England, so please don't act like I am ignorant to the world. In fact there is nothing wrong with being from one place and not leaving, especially when it is here. Good for your service to your country, you should be proud. I commend you for that. I just don't like when people complain about how we do things, without trying to help or fix it themselves. Actually think about that, I am 26 I work full time and when I have an issue I look to my community and generally I find people willing to help. I understand you think Townies are ignorant and exclusive, but we aren't. And going out and attempting to meet people here couldn't hurt you, try to do that before you accuse us of things we are not.
Joseph November 16, 2012 at 04:36 PM
You're right JAP, it is unbelievable!! How someone can misread my post and think that I was against this idea is shocking. The lack of comprehension by some is truly amazing. Even more so, the need to be recognized for their efforts is comical.
CSullivan November 16, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Talk about reading things wrong! Joseph, Just a person is reiterating what I have been saying, you all said people would sue for someone being kind, this is how this all started. I have been attempting to tell you this, no one would do that when people are trying to do something kind and helpful for them. I do not need recognition, but apparently you do when it comes to complaining. By the way have you called Sean yet? I know you haven't. Maybe you picked an organization to help with, you're complaining and accusing people of suing others is getting you nowhere in this conversation. So do us a favor big talker, back it up and call Sean and help. He would be more than happy to hear from and maybe we can meet. I will tell Sean to tell me when you contact him.
Owen November 16, 2012 at 06:00 PM
CSullivan, This is probably one of the most frustrating back and forth discussions I've had on this site. Why? Because you're creating the argument that you actually wish you were having. No one is calling you or anyone else "ignorant" or "exclusive", yet here you are firing back at me as if that's exactly what was said. It has been called to your attention that the only thing brought up that has been taken as a critisism is the fact that, no matter how well intentioned, there are still legalities that need to be met. Then Sean, in a very rational manner, stated that it was taken care of. There. Done. There was no need for you to get dramatic and start accusing people of saying things that were never said, or implying that non "Townies" feel a certain way about you. Furthermore, there was no need for you to start demanding to know what other people do for their community, as if it's any of your business. Again, no one was sitting in their ivory tower, lording down from on high, pointing out evreything arong with this plan without actually wanting to help out with the effort. "you all said people would sue for someone being kind" Nope! Wrong again. Here's what was actually said: "The last thing you need is to take someone for a ride, charge them a fee for this unlicensed service, get into an accident and get sued." That's actualy sound advice for anyone trying to get anything operation off the ground.
Joseph November 16, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Really CS? Your sense of sarcasm is lacking. Big time. It was a play on his words you fool. I never said people would sue. I said it could happen. That was all. Maybe you're not up on current events. People sue for the stupidest reasons. Would you, probably not. Would these people, probably not. It's a shame that minds like yours are our future. I don't need you to tell me what to do. In an attempt to shut you up, several organizations receive my contributions. Harvest On The Vine, Toys For Tots, Boys & Girls, St. Mary's, Salvation Army, Local youth sports...to name a few. You work with Special Townies. Congratulations. And your comment to Owen about what he thinks of Townies goes to show you do not comprehend what people say. He never once said Townies are ignorant. His post was right on the money about you. I know I can be pigheaded, but $hit girl, at least I can admit it. G'day and G'bye
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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