This week, staff writer Laura Rysz talks to Tamara Hall, M.Ed., about the upcoming Mother’s Day Drive for St. Joseph Center’s Baby and Children’s Pantry.

Residence: Peckville

Educational background: Master’s degree in education administration

Title: Director of maternity and family services at St. Joseph Center

Q: What inspired this event?

A: Bob Gattens from the Scranton Municipal Recreational Authority reached out to us and said they would like to support St. Joseph’s Center’s Baby and Children’s Pantry with a diaper and baby supplies drive over Mother’s Day weekend. We were honored to be considered for such a wonderful event.

Q: How does the collection work?

A: The drive will be held Saturday, May 8, and Sunday, May 9, from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. at the Nay Aug Park Community Room by the pool. People can drive by and drop off their donations at their convenience. Boy Scout Troop 66 will be assisting with accepting donations.

Q: What items are you asking for?

A. St. Joe’s Baby and Children’s Pantry will graciously accept diapers (newborn and sizes four, five and six are needed most), formula, baby food, baby bottles, pacifiers and sippy cups. We are very low on diaper bags for New Blessings, which is a baby bundle for newborn infants. The pantry is also very low on baby wash and baby lotion. No furniture items or clothing can be accepted at this time.

Q: How will donations be used?

A: Every donation is given free to families in local communities needing assistance with these items for their babies and children. We serve families in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wyoming and Wayne counties, but anyone from any county can call for assistance. It is helpful if people call 570-207-6640 to make an appointment so their order can be packed ahead of time for them.

Q: Where can monetary donations be sent?

A: Monetary donations can be sent to St. Joseph’s Center Baby and Children Pantry, Attention: Tamara Hall, 320 S. Blakely St., Dunmore, PA 18512. Amazon gift cards are very helpful as well. There also is an Amazon wish list link ( just in case someone wants to help who cannot come.

Q: Why is community support so important?

A: St. Joe’s Baby and Children’s Pantry could not exist without the generous support of the community, churches, schools and local businesses. Since 1888, St. Joseph’s Center has met the needs of the community rooted in the core values of care, concern, compassion and commitment. Our pantry is run by dedicated volunteers who show up every day with a kind smile on their faces and a desire to help others. St. Joe’s typically serves 350 families each month, so every donation is crucial to help so many. We are extremely humbled and blessed by the continued support St. Joseph’s Center receives from the community.