Hi all – I received the flier below today with a request to post this on our Whitefield Cares site. Mano en Mano provides immigrants and farmworkers with support they need, ensuring equitable access to medical care, government aid, employment, housing, and other services. This seems consistent with our “mission” to help others so I am passing this along. If anyone in the Whitefield/Alna area is interested in donating warm clothes you can drop them off at the Alna Town Office where a volunteer will pick them up and deliver them to the nonprofit Mano en Mano in Millbridge. Their clothing drive is this Saturday so sooner would be better than later! Their website is manomaine.org if you want to learn more.
Our Whitefield Cares! volunteers made a real difference in someone’s life on Saturday September 11. Eight people from Whitefield worked with CHIP, the Community Home Improvement Project, on their Community Cares Day, to refurbish trailer skirting and clean up a collapsed shed on the property of disabled veteran living in Whitefield. David Wright led the trailer skirting team, supported by Carole Cifrino, Rocky, and Dirt, and Lise Hanners led the clean-up team supported by Steve Patton, and Jim Torbert. George Fergusson made himself useful for both teams. CHIP had ordered a giant dumpster which we filled with materials from both projects and Dave Wright ordered the skirting materials using CHIP’s accounts.
It was a beautiful fall day and we got it all done by about 2:30. Working with CHIP was terrific, they delivered home-made sandwiches, chips, cookies and apples and even brought cut flowers, a potted chrysanthemum, and vegetables for the home owner. I think everyone felt great to be able to help someone who really needed it!
Another benefit of the work day was that I was able to identify a whole suite of new volunteers eager to help out with projects in Whitefield. Everyone should keep their ears open for anyone in our community who needs help and we can step up again! Thanks again to all our volunteers and enjoy the beautiful Fall!
I write to tell you about a great opportunity for us to take Whitefield Cares! from discussion to action. I’ve mentioned CHIP, Inc. in previous newsletters, the Community Housing Improvement Project, serving central/eastern Maine in Lincoln County. CHIP helps with heating and home repairs and does an annual work day in Whitefield if workers are available to help. Residents of Whitefield call Brittany Gill, the coordinator of the project, when they need help with weatherproofing, construction of handicap ramps, replacement of windows and doors, or electrical or plumbing repairs, all at no cost to the resident.
This year, CHIP’s Community Cares Day is on September 11 in Whitefield. This email will serve as a first notice for us to get an idea of how many people might be available to help out that day. Brittany has received several requests for help in Whitefield so we can decide how many projects we can take on, based on the interest of our volunteers (that means you!). We need both skilled (leaders of a project) and unskilled workers (people who follow directions and get the job done!).
George Fergusson has kindly agreed to be a crew leader for a house that is in rough shape. It would be great if someone would volunteer to go with George to evaluate what volunteers could do and how many are needed. Then the day of the project volunteers will meet with George at the house and get started!
What do you think? Are you available to help? Please let me know if you are available as a crew leader or worker and I will ask you to sign up through CHIP’s website where they will ask you to sign a safety waiver. I put up fliers at Sheepscot General, the Superette, and Town Office, in an attempt to advertise CHIP and get the word out that help is available. If you know someone who needs help, let us know and we may be able to get them on the list for this Fall.
Thanks for following Whitefield Cares! through the pandemic. Let’s get started helping our neighbors!
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.
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!
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 this post finds you well and busily working in the garden and/or enjoying the outdoors. I haven’t touched base in a while but it does seem that requests for help are increasing a little, likely because this pandemic has stretched on for a while and is likely to go on for quite a bit longer. I hope you will be able to keep your interest in helping your community members strong!
I’ve had a request to find volunteers willing to deliver a food box to a woman in Pittston. That is not Whitefield but is close by and a neighbor of ours nonetheless! She is elderly, lives alone without a car, has some difficulty moving around and is not able to get enough food to sustain her.
My request is this – would you be willing to come to the food bank twice a month to pick a box of food that the volunteers will prepare and deliver it to her house? The food bank volunteers are so well organized that all you need to do is drive up to the door at St. Denis church and tell them you are delivering the box for this woman (I will tell you the name if you are willing to help!), they will put the box in your trunk, you drive to the woman’s house and drop it off at the door. No contact at all which we’re all getting used to!
The woman lives off the Kelly Road in Pittston so it’s not far away. I’m hoping that if we get several volunteers then one person could do two weeks and another could deliver on the other two weeks, something like that. The food bank is open the first Friday of the month (so that’s the 5th this month, and the first delivery would be on this Friday), then the food bank is open on subsequent Saturdays for the rest of the month, open 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM.
Please let me know if you are willing to help out (email through Whitefield Cares!, email email@example.com, or call me at 207-656-2033) and I will put you in touch with Janet Ober from the food bank so she can provide additional details. And thank you for helping with Whitefield Cares!