Category Archives: Uncategorized

Whitefield Cares! Zoom meeting

Hi all –

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:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89361523806?pwd=dUZvYVZCdThMUW1GWGt4dC9nZkdsQT09

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!

Best,

Lise Hanners

 

 

Volunteers to Help with CHIP?

Happy December Everyone –

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!

Best,

Lise Hanners

 

Still Caring but on Hiatus

Hi all –

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.

Best,

Lise Hanners

 

 

 

Are you willing to deliver a food bank box?

Hi all –

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 lisehanners@gmail.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!

Best,

Lise Hanners

 

 

No news is good news?

Hi all –

I hope this finds you and your families well and managing well enough these days.  I just wanted to touch base so you’d know that Whitefield Cares is still alive and well, just quiet.  We got out of the blocks quickly at the beginning of the pandemic and organized people to drive groceries etc. to those who needed help, but we just haven’t had many requests for help.  We did have two requests, both for food, which we were able to take care of through the Whitefield Food Pantry which has been very busy.  On normal Saturdays the food bank sees about 8-10 families come through and last week there were 26 people who came to pick up food boxes so the demand has definitely increased.

I think what we didn’t anticipate is that the disease would spread slowly through our community which is wonderful but means that our expectation that people would need drivers to bring food to them didn’t happen.  It’s still early days of course so that may change but that’s why those of you who volunteered to drive have not heard from me!  That’s a good problem to have but this just highlights the fact that we are not in good contact with our own community so we likely are just not aware of people who need help.  The good news is Darlene Beaulieu, the Town Administrator, is very aware that we are out here and available to help so she is directing people to call me which is great.  And Chloe Maxmin has mobilized an armada of people to call seniors and others in the District just to touch base and ensure that needs are met (sign up to help on her website!).

I still have everyone’s contact information who volunteered to help and I will call if the need arises.  Hang in there, enjoy the Spring, and stay safe!

Best,

Lise Hanners

 

 

CHIP, Inc. does home repairs in Whitefield

Hi all –

I hope this beautiful day finds you well.  I had a great conversation with Brittany Gill who run the Community Housing Improvement Plan based in Bristol.  They distinguish their nonprofit by adding an “Inc.” after CHIP, to separate them from the Central Heating Improvement Program run by Maine Housing and distributed by KVCAP.  I’ll explain further about CHIP Inc. below – but KVCAP distributed LIHEAP funds (enough acronyms yet?) for heating fuel and they also do weatherization, house repairs, etc. but apparently they have a long waiting list.  They are supported by Federal funding and have a strict set of requirements for support.

CHIP, Inc. is a non-profit based in Bristol, Maine and they focus on central and eastern Lincoln County, including Whitefield.  The organization was started by Ruth Ives who was the Carpenter’s Boat Shop founder in Bristol and they are supported by donors from Lincoln County.  They do a variety of home repairs as well as one-time fuel assistance (100 gallons of heating fuel or firewood).  Brittany Gill explained that the program is for those in need but they are much more forgiving and will assume the best of their neighbors so the process is not onerous.  If someone needs their trailer re-skirted, or the floor rebuilt, a ramp constructed, or window inserts, they can call 207-677-3450 and leave a message and Brittany will return their call to schedule a time for repairs (in normal circumstances of course).  CHIP, Inc. will pay for the materials and their volunteers do the work – this seems like just the opportunity Whitefield Cares! has been looking for, to match our volunteer work force with knowledge and a vehicle to find people who need help.  I will add CHIP, Inc. to our Resource List.

Their website (chipinc.org) is down for repairs but Brittany anticipates it will be up and running in April.  They have a community work day in September and she will be keeping an eye out for needs from residents in Whitefield, assuming we can gather safely by that time.  If not, we’ll do it later!  This is a great example of us using existing groups to facilitate their interest and ours.   Isn’t Maine great?  Hang in there everybody.

 

 

Whitefield Cares! meeting on March 18 cancelled – Are you willing to drive?

Hi All –

Well we’re going with safety first and decided to cancel our meetings for the foreseeable future.  However, we may have an opportunity to contribute individually to help our community in need.  Sheepscot General reached out to ask if Whitefield Cares would be willing to help drive groceries to people who are unable to get out on their own.  They are hoping to work with the Superette to figure out who needs help and we could simply pick up an order and deliver it to an address, without going inside or really having contact with anyone.  If you would be willing to do so, please let us know via the Whitefield Cares contact form or email.  I’m not sure whether we can make this work but we can certainly try!

Meantime our little subcommittee working on the survey has a draft and which is circulating for more input.  We will send that out soon and we can all look forward to collecting survey responses once this virus passes us by!  Stay home and safe everyone.

 

 

Whitefield Cares! Receives $1000 from the Maine Community Foundation!

Great news!

Whitefield Cares! has received our first funding!  We received $1,010 from the Thriving Older Adults Strategic Goal Fund of the Maine Community Foundation.  We asked for support for printing and mailing the Resource List to all Whitefield residents in an effort to better distribute information in Town.  In addition, we asked for funding to print and distribute a town-wide survey to ask residents what is working and what is not working for their lives in Whitefield, to allow us to specifically target our work where it is needed the most.  A small group of us is already working to prepare the survey questions so now we can move forward more quickly!  Very exciting news and we hope to see you at the next regular meeting on Wednesday March 18 at 4:00 at the Elementary School.

 

Be Careful

Yesterday my husband and I were doing some stocking up at Sam’s Club in Augusta. I saw a young woman employee at a food sample table cough into her plastic -gloved hand then continue setting out free food samples. I called my husband over to me before he snarfed one up and told him what I had seen.

Whitefield Cares! SWAT Team renamed – Neighbors on Call

Hi all –

This is great example of why it’s good to listen to that niggling, tapping on your shoulder saying “Psst – Don’t use military acronyms!”.  And once we looked up what SWAT actually means – Special Weapons and Tactics – that spelled the beginning of the end of that name.  So thanks to the feedback from some of our readers, we are renaming our quick response list to “Neighbors on Call”, better, definitely.

The intention was good, but it is likely true that the “SWAT Team” was “riding a wave of adrenaline” as one of our readers suggested.  Having received our first call for help – and realizing that our “infrastructure” was not yet set up to respond quickly to requests for help, I wanted to move fast and figure out who could help.  But like all learning experiences, this was worth slowing down and fixing the mistake.  Forward!