Hi all –
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.
Hi all –
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!
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:
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
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!
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.
Hi all –
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!
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 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!
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!
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.