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It’s been a while so I thought I would touch base to let you know about the warm response I’ve heard about from the recent Whitefield Cares! mailing. If you recall I received a mini-grant from the Lifelong Communities Fund of the Maine Community Foundation just before the pandemic hit, to mail out our Resource List to all addresses in Whitefield in an attempt to reach the people who need help.
I have been touched by the number of responses this mailing received. If you recall, the letter suggested that anyone needing help should begin by calling Yolanda Violette at Town Office, who could guide anyone through the process of applying for emergency funding. Yolanda reports that Town Office received several calls from residents who were pleased to see the community reaching out to help each other. In addition, the Food Bank received a donation of cash and a donation of eggs, which were both very much appreciated. The Town also received a donation to one of the funds for supporting residents and so far a resident submitted a request for assistance with heating fuel. And the most recent Lincoln County news has a great article from Mary Dunn who received the mailing and was moved to tears because of the positive support in our community that made her feel happy and hopeful.
I guess I didn’t know what to expect but I am encouraged and heartened to hear the warm response. Everyone clearly needs a boost after the last year and I think we should feel good that we were not only able to direct people to physical resources they need, but we were able to offer hope and community. And it is getting close to be time to be thinking about our next steps. The pandemic is not letting go easily so it will be still be a little while before we want to actively engage in the community. I am looking ahead to September when the Community Housing Improvement Project plans a work day in Whitefield and hope that we can gather some volunteers and work on some of the projects they identify. More on that later.
At some point in your life you are likely to be a caregiver for someone or on the receiving end of caregiving. At the present time, when you are not allowed to accompany the person into the hospital to help them provide needed information, perhaps having some ready records placed where they can be easily found would be a wise way to make January/February “Get Organized Month”. Continue reading →
The Whitefield Cares! Resource List has at long last been updated, thanks to the tireless efforts of our fearless leader, Lise Hanners. The current revision date is today, January 29, 2021. MANY things have changed and this update was sorely needed. I was going to help with it but circumstances didn’t cooperate so all I really ended up doing to help was to check, format, and post the update. Somehow we’ve managed to keep it down to two pages. I don’t know how long that will last.
You’ll find a link to the list on the Resource List under the Resources main menu heading and on the sidebar of most pages on this website. An effort is underway to distribute this revised Resource List community-wide, likely with a targeted mailing to Whitefield residents. Stay tuned for more news about this effort!
I was contacted by Jeanne Shaw at the Whitefield Food Bank to see if I could find a volunteer willing to plow the St. Denis Church Parish Hall when it snows on a Friday. The church provides plow service on Saturdays for the Hall so this would be a rare (presumably) occasion when it is a plowable snow that happens Thursday night or Friday morning on the first Friday of the month when the Food Bank is open.
If you are able to help or know someone who would be willing to provide this service please let me know! Thanks.
We had a group of about 10 people join our Zoom meeting which was great! We used the time to catch up on activities we have performed to help our Whitefield neighbors. We were fortunate to have Brittany Gill join us; Brittany is the Project Manager for the Community Home Improvement Project (CHIP, Inc.) that helps people in Whitefield with home improvements and heating fuel support. Below are announcements of upcoming opportunities to help others as well as a summary of some ongoing projects.
Winter Sand for Seniors – Lise Hanners was able to use some of the funding provided to Whitefield Cares! via the Maine Community Foundation’s Lifelong Communities Mini-grants, to buy 5 gallon paint buckets. The buckets will be kept at Town Office and when someone calls to request a sand bucket delivery, a volunteer will pick up the bucket and fill it (2/3 full?, not all the way) at the Town sand shed, then deliver it the appropriate address. Please let Lise know if you are willing to deliver buckets, we already have two volunteers, Tony Marple and Mike McMorrow. And let your friends and neighbors know about this service. We are advertising on the Town website and putting up fliers at Town Office, the Food Bank, and local stores.
A previous post on this website described two opportunities to help neighbors that came through contacts with Brittany Gill at CHIP, Inc. A resident from Somerville requested help with yard work and Remy Henry was willing to help. Also, a resident of Whitefield requested help making his trailer weather-proof and Frank Ober and Mike McMorrow held up their hands to help! I am so hopeful that our budding relationship with CHIP will help us connect with people who need help – with these efforts we are on our way!
The Whitefield Cares! Resource List (available on this website) is a summary of local places people can get help with food, housing, clothing, and other needs. This was originally put together last fall when we first started meeting. I will be working on updating the list with George Fergusson – I’m sure much has changed during this time of Covid-19 and will update the list again once we’re all able to interact again.
Jim Torbert asked about where contributions of Christmas presents for children could be made. He will be contacting the Whitefield School which is taking donations now.
George and Margaret Fergusson have been delivering school breakfasts and lunches to about 9 families in Whitefield. This is ongoing.
The Food Bank made a request for help in picking up supplies from Damariscotta and Mike McMorrow was able to help. This is an ongoing big project and I’m sure Mike would appreciate more support.
Please let me know if any of these projects interest you and if you are available to help out. And I will continue to post occasional updates when we learn of identified needs. Thanks for joining the Zoom call and I hope to hold another meeting in the Spring. Stay safe and warm!
I am scheduling a Zoom meeting for Friday, December 11, at 10:30 AM to bring us together and get reacquainted. My agenda is pretty simple – I have a few opportunities for us to help neighbors that I will tell you about and seek volunteers. And then we’ll open up the floor to see what everyone has been up to. I think you’ll be surprised at how many people have continued to help each other and their neighbors through the pandemic. And hopefully we can keep our energy high and keep moving forward until we can gather in person once again.
To join the meeting you have to download Zoom onto whatever device you want to use and click this link or paste it into your browser:
Open up Zoom and there we’ll be! Unmute yourself and join the party. I will also be sending everyone an invite via email for those have signed up for the Whitefield Cares! emails. I look forward to seeing everyone soon!
The Christmas season is upon us and Cathey and I would like to let you know that many lovely Christmas trees are available and looking for a home at our place in Whitefield.
Most are balsam fir with a smaller amount of Fraser fir. They come in all sizes from humongus to teeny tiny. We are looking to clear off the lot so I am happy to take down some of the larger trees, which often have shapely tops, and cut them down to a size which fits your need.
We will be at home and ready to cut every Saturday in December before Christmas, that is December 5, 12, and 19. I will have my chain saw available and will cut down the tree you select. I may also have a few trees pre-cut and ready to go. I will be happy to help you load the tree into your vehicle but it would be helpful if you could bring some twine or whatever you need to secure the tree.
The trees are free but we ask that people consider making an appropriate donation to a worthy local cause.
If you want to let us know in advance you can e-mail or call the number below but that is not necessary.
Louis and Cathey Sell
571 East River Road
I received an email from Brittany Gill, the Project Manager at the Community Housing Improvement Project (CHIP, Inc), looking for volunteers or contractors in our area. She recently met with a Whitefield man who lives in a small, self-built home that needs a piece of skirting installed under his deck and possibly a creative solution to keep snow from piling in front of his sole entrance/exit.
Also, an elderly couple in Somerville is looking for a trust-worthy handi-person to help with various repairs and yard work.
Are any of you interested in helping out? Or do you know someone interested? Thanks for considering this opportunity, just let me know. I am hopeful that next summer we can build a relationship with CHIP bringing our volunteers to projects they identify in Whitefield. Once things settle down a bit…..
Look for an email from me in the next day or so regarding a Zoom call I want to hold next week to bring us back together and share what we’ve been up to, helping our neighbors!
I hope you are enjoying the beautiful late summer and watching as we slowly move toward fall. I thought it was past time for me to touch base so here I am!
If you are like me, you have been staying close to home, thinking about the things that matter most, like family, neighbors, and the people we care about. I did send out a query to see if people were interested in helping with the Community Housing Improvement Project but the response was…..crickets. And that makes sense to me right now. Try as I might I find it hard to engage in anything other than staying healthy and keeping in touch with my friends and family so I totally understand that response.
Having said that I hope things will gradually get better, maybe not until next year or later but we will get through this pandemic, and we will regroup when we do. I expect that winter this year will be even quieter than usual with even less social contact and that’s appropriate. Next year if an opportunity presents itself for Whitefield Cares! to engage, then I will send out the word and we’ll resurrect our enthusiasm!
In the meantime, please take care. The need is likely higher than ever for us to support our community and we will have the opportunity to dig in and make a difference.
I hope you are well and enjoying the good (dry) weather. If you’re like me, some rain would be great for the gardens!
We have a wonderful opportunity to work with the non-profit Community Housing Improvement Project (CHIP Inc., not the ones that do central heating systems) to provide support for some of our residents in need. CHIP has worked on several projects a year in Whitefield and their director Brittany Gill contacted me to find out if Whitefield Cares! could find volunteers to work with them this year. CHIP does home repair projects and historically has gathered volunteers in September for their Community Cares day in September but will be unable to organize the effort this year. Residents in central and eastern Lincoln County will call CHIP’s number and ask for support on needed home improvements and CHIP figures out how to get the job done. CHIP provides the funding for materials and can provide contracting for some services if the situation requires it, and the community provides the organization of the project and the labor.
For this year, our own George Fergusson has agreed to help with organizing our work force. With this post, I am looking for volunteers to work with George on projects in Town. Brittany described 5 possible projects, including 2 trailer roofs needing structural repair, 1 building needing tar to fix leaks, a leaky front door that needs replacing, and a disabled veteran who needs a variety of repairs on his house. If we can gather people to do the work, Brittany will reach out to the homeowners to see if they are willing to work with Whitefield Cares! to get the jobs done. George is reaching out to his contacts to see who would be willing to help and if you know someone who might be handy and/or strong, please let them know about this opportunity and have them get in touch with me!
I think this is exactly the kind of contact Whitefield Cares! needs to launch into creating real results on the ground for the residents of Whitefield. CHIP has been working on the Bristol peninsula for years and CHIP has a dedicated group of volunteers who come together to work on projects on the peninsula which just sounds terrific. Brittany Gill is eager to engage our group and is just waiting for our reply. Let me know if you or someone you know can lend a hand and let’s build Whitefield Cares! into a community effort that get results on the ground!