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North End group plans annual fundraiser for St. Francis House homeless shelter

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  February 22, 2013 01:04 PM

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Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com

The Nazzaro Community Center at 30 North Bennet St. will host the North End Friends of St. Francis House flea market and bale sale on March 22 and 23.

For the ninth year, the North End Friends of St. Francis House will combine spring cleaning with philanthropy through their annual flea market and bake sale benefiting the downtown homeless shelter.

Organizers John Romano and Olivia Scimeca assembled the first North End fundraising event for the shelter in 2005, and Romano said the need has only grown in the years since.

“It’s probably more important now than ever,” Romano said.

According to the shelter’s web site, it serves more than 800 poor and homeless men and women each day and is open every day of the year.

This month’s ongoing series of weekend snowstorms has meant St. Francis House has been increasingly called upon to provide a warm place to stay, Romano said, and they have risen to the occasion by keeping their doors open to those in need at any hour during the storms.

“For them to continue to do things like that is increasingly important,” Romano said.

The friends group hopes to raise $10,000 through the sale, which will be matched by an anonymous donor, though Romano acknowledged that some potential donors may be feeling their own pinch as the economy slowly recovers from a five-year slump.

“I know it’s difficult in these economic times,” he said.

The sale will take place Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23, at the Nazzaro Community Center at 30 North Bennet St. in the North End. Donors may drop off items at the center from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the week beginning March 18.

The friends group will accept albums, books, toys, dolls, games, glassware, dishware, cookware, accessories, collectibles, jewelry, lamps, small pieces of furniture, and also spare change.

Clothing cannot be accepted.

Cash donations may be made through checks made out to St. Francis House and sent to Olivia Scimeca, 21 Cleveland Place, Boston, MA 02113.

For more information about the event, contact John Romano at jromano45@gmail.com.

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @jeremycfox.
Follow the North End on Twitter: @YourNorthEnd.
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