Updated Nov. 27
Members of the Tisbury Police Department stationed themselves in the Vineyard Haven Stop & Shop parking lot to help direct traffic, unload groceries for customers, and collect donations for the food pantry on Wednesday afternoon. Anticipating high-volume traffic before Thanksgiving, Det. Max Sherman decided to provide some needed assistance to holiday shoppers. “There’s nobody in our department that doesn’t look out the window and see how crazy this parking lot is,” Det. Sherman said. “Since we are right there, [I thought] it would just be nice to help out.”
As people emerged from the Stop & Shop into the pouring rain, they dashed for the cover of their cars, and a police officer was right on their heels asking if they needed assistance. Some decided to weather the journey alone, but plenty were happy to accept help loading bags into their cars so they could get out of the rain and back home.
“I think this parking lot will toughen you up,” Det. Sherman said. “So I think a lot of people are like, ‘I’m good, I’ve done this a million times.’ But we say we’ll at least take your cart for you and then they don’t have to run all the way back.”
In addition to alleviating traffic and rescuing carts, the department collected food and donations for the Island Food Pantry. Stop & Shop donated a few bags of food and some shoppers dropped off items purchased from the grocery store on their way out.
Det. Sherman was joined by officers Michael Maliff and Maria Deoliveira around noon, and the trio was none too shy about getting drenched as they directed cars and pushed shopping carts. Later in the day, Officer John Goeckel, Traffic Officer Eloise Boales, and Traffic Officer Sam Koohy also pitched in to help.
“After we get to change out of our wet clothes, we get to go home and we know we have food,” Det. Sherman said. “A lot of people don’t have that. If we can provide that but we’ll be a little wet, I’m happy.”
By the end of the day, the department donated a dozen bags of food and $143 to the Island Food Pantry.
“It was [a] fantastic outpouring from the Stop & Shop customers and other folks,” director of the Island Food Pantry Margaret Hanneman said. “On a day when people are rushing around trying to attend to the last minute Thanksgiving tasks, to take time and think of and contribute to the food pantry is greatly appreciated. And we thank the police for taking their time on a miserable day to both help folks get through the lot and to think of the food pantry. It’s always heartening to see the Island give for people who need.”
Updated to include how much was donated to the Island Food Pantry.