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TOWNSEND — Colten Werlinger, 9, had a birthday party over the weekend of April 18-19.

Though you might expect him to have a lengthy wish list for presents, he didn’t. Instead, he requested that his friends bring donations for Townsend Ecumenical Outreach.

The facility where his parents held his party, Tyngsboro Sports Center, gave Colten a check to pass on to the TEO in the amount of $50 because Colten chose to turn his party into a way to give back to his community.

In addition to the check were bags filled with donations.

According to his mother, Laura, the friends who went to his party are all students at Spaulding Memorial School, except for one who attends Hawthorn Brook.

“We will be dropping off the donations and check to Gary Hatch at the TEO on Wednesday, April 22,” she said last week.

When the day came, “Gary showed him the freezers,” said Laura, “and the shelving with food, and said that they distribute about two weeks worth of food and household items to approximately 50 families every month.

“I spoke briefly with Mr. Hatch who said the most requested items are toiletries,” said Laura. “SNAP does not cover items like toilet paper, diapers and feminine care products. Luckily, we had some great kids and parents who donated some of these items along with washing machine detergent.”

Laura and Colten hope that this story inspires readers to remember the TEO during the nonholiday seasons. Donations are less plentiful then, but people still need help.

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