This was our first dictionary day of the season… we still have more kids coming to the Grange Hall and three schools to visit! We’ve given out over 2,500 dictionaries in the sixteen years we’ve been doing this and it’s still one of the most exciting and fun things we do! Yesterday’s event included eighty kids from SeDoMoCha Elementary School. What fun!
The California State Grange, utilizing the National Grange 501(c)(3) Foundation has established the “2017 CA Fires Support Fund” to receive tax-deductible charitable donations. This Grange Charitable Fund will be used to provide support to those affected Members & Community/Pomona Granges having needs created by the wildfires. As of yesterday, no Grange Halls have been lost, but several Grange members have lost their homes.
California State Grange Master Ed Kominski describes one Grange, Redwood Valley Grange as having some “Amazing Patrons” and note the hall has been opened to start serving their community in conjunction with the Mendocino Sheriff’s Department and North Coast Opportunities and Animal Control. Among services being provided:
- The Hall will be open 10-6 every day until not needed and are providing Free Child Care
- Free Professional Crisis Counseling and referrals are available
- Lunch at 12:30 every while there is a community need.
- All day refreshments are available
- Town Meeting will be at the Grange – date TBD
- The hall is a place to come, share, play music, and game tables are available.
All this is being done by Grangers who are having their own personal struggles.
Maine Grangers can help by participating in the California State Grange Fundraiser. Kominski notes, “Support and funds are coming in great numbers. We have seen fantastic support but we need to reach more people.”
The California State Grange, utilizing the National Grange 501(c)(3) Foundation has established the “2017 CA Fires Support Fund” to receive tax-deductible charitable donations. This Grange Charitable Fund will be used to provide support to those affected Members & Community/Pomona Granges having needs created by the wildfires. Every donation of $25 or more will receive a t-shirt in appreciation for the generosity – “California Granges – Moving Together”
Bangor Grange presented Lt. Tim Cotton his Community Citizen Award at our meeting Tuesday. The following is his write-up the next day that he posted on Facebook:
“Sliding my thumb up and down the smudged and scratched glass of my Samsung phone allows a glimpse into the thoughts of my Facebook friends.
Most of my “Facebook friends” are actually my friends. Sure, there are one or two I don’t know very well, but for the most part they are my friends and I would not have added them to my motley crew if I didn’t believe we could talk for twenty minutes or so over a cup of coffee.
Today, one of my friends posted a simple statement; a question actually. “Where have all the good people gone?” I think it’s a question we all have, especially in times like these.
When the news-cycle bores it’s way into our lives like a Black and Decker hammer-drill, it is fairly easy to believe that the world has gone mad. I cannot deny that I believe the exact same thing sometimes. I certainly can’t promise you that tomorrow won’t bring us something worse than our country has experienced this week.
I can tell you that the good people are still here. On Tuesday night I met about 15 of them at the Bangor Grange Hall (#372).
Kindly, the group awarded me with a Community Service honor and plaque. I should note that I have done nothing to deserve such an honor from the Grange members. I should have been there sooner-thanking them. I am such a slacker.
Ann Staples (82 years young) organized a fundraiser for a man who was soon to die. He wanted to make sure his wife had a little something after he passed. The spaghetti dinner at their humble Grange raised over $5000 dollars in one evening. The man died on the night of the fundraiser, but he knew of it’s success before he passed.
Ann was not bragging about pulling it all together, she was telling me about it because she and her fellow Grange members were looking to do a project for our police department causes.
We talked over lasagna, homemade biscuits, beef pie, scalloped potatoes and freshly pressed Maine apple cider. Yes, I had seconds, on simple paper plates and mismatched silverware. Ann also organizes their weekly farmers market and helped local disadvantaged kids plant and care for a garden so they could have fresh vegetables. She has done this for years.
Ann was asking me what I needed while stuffing me with food to prepare me to receive MY award. Are you kidding me?
Grange Master Rolf Staples Sr. told me about the Christmas breakfast Grange #372 puts on for local kids. He told me some of the kids find the thought of a homemade breakfast with sausage, eggs, bacon, and pancakes far more appealing than the gifts they receive. He noted that some of the kids know nothing more than a Pop Tart and can of soda for typical morning nourishment. Who makes the breakfast? The ladies and gents of Grange #372, not me.
94-year old Mary Hunter knits tiny caps for premature infants. She also reminded me that she was at my wedding but that she didn’t dance.
She told me that she recalls my son has the same name as her dear departed husband and that she clearly remembers me changing my son’s name on his birth certificate two days after he was born. It’s true, I did. Purely to make his name roll off my tongue more easily. It’s a long story. Mary remembers. She is a member of Grange #372.
For years Mary and her husband visited area nursing homes with homemade crafts, provided gifts for the kids on the parade route at Hampden Children’s Day and did a myriad of other things for community causes.
There were many others. Some who had been members for a long time and one who had held leadership positions at Grange #372 since the early 1960s. He had cut some firewood that day and told me he loved the fall. I think the gentleman could have made quick work of me in an arm wrestling match, but it was his 82nd birthday so I would expect nothing less.
We stood for the Star Spangled Banner, posted Old Glory, and I was escorted to the podium for the reading of a very nice proclamation.
Each step across the sole-smoothed hardwood floor echoed the footsteps of the benevolent members who danced, wedded, and died here since 1904.
I was humbled with their kindness, uplifted by their hardscrabble homestead farm-raised ghosts. I envisioned the men and wives cleaning their nails and washing behind the kid’s ears for the Saturday night supper and dance.
Where have all the good people gone? I think they are still here.
If you have trouble finding them, put down the phone, lay off the rants, turn off the television, and become one of them. If you need to find an example of such goodness, check your local Grange Hall.
Keep your hands to yourself, leave other people’s things alone, and be kind to one another.
We will be here.”
Webmaster Note: “TC” maintains a Facebook Page for the Bangor Maine Police Department with that has “gone viral” and has thousands of followers around the country. You can read TC’s original post on Facebook.
Can’t wait for State Convention to learn about activities and accomplishments? The following annual reports are now available on the site:
- 2016-2017 Agriculture Annual Report
- 2016-2017 Communications Annual Report
- 2016-2017 Community Service Annual Report
- 2016-2017 Junior Annual Report
- 2016-2017 Lecturer’s Annual Report
- 2016-2017 Legislative Annual Report
Directors and Committee Chairs are reminded that the deadline for submitting your annual report was yesterday. Please send your report to Jim Owens (jimowens1myfairpointnet) and copy the webmaster (webmastermainestategrangeorg) so your report can be posted to the site.
Community Service Corner
It has been another great year of service for Community Service and I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has supported community service in one way or another. It was great to see the Community Service Books and Family, Health & Hearing Contest Sheets roll in again this year. It is greatly appreciated to see all the projects that are being done across our great state of Maine. Let’s all start thinking about how we can get out there in the upcoming year and do some awesome things for our community. The best advertisement is word of mouth. I look forward to seeing everyone at State Session this year.
Family, Health & Hearing
Just a few items to remember for October. It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Oct 1 – 7 is Mental Illness Awareness Week, & October 10 is World Mental Health Day. Invite some individuals into your Grange to talk about these items.* Mental Health can affect not only the individual but all those around them and sometimes because of stigmas people live in silence with Mental Health Issues. Let’s all work together to show people WE CARE!!!!!
Maine State Grange Community Service making a difference “ONE” project at a time!
*Webmaster note: For those who may not be aware, I am a NAMI Certified Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid Specialist and conduct Suicide Awareness and Prevention Training Workshops. If you would like to address these important issues at your Grange, there are some resources available on my website. If I can be of further help, please email me or give me a call at 207 343-1842.
ATTENTION, ATTENTION, ATTENTION CALLING ALL GRANGES AND GRANGERS.
Community Service is looking for activities sheets to be submitted. I need each Grange to submit a Community Service Activity Sheet for the 2016 – 2017 year of service. Please fill one out and send to me via USPS or via email. My email address is Christinecorlissymailcom (Christinecorlissymailcom) and mailing address is 162 Center Road Lebanon, Me 04027. We only need thirteen more! Do not wait for another Grange to make the submission–your report counts. Even if you have not done any community service activities just fill it in and state that–that even counts! We have received the monetary donation from National for the last three years thanks to enough Granges sending in activities reports. Our committee gives it right back to the first place winner of the Community Service Book contest. Let’s continue that tradition!
Webmaster’s note: Forms are included in the Community Service Book, but you can also download just the form for the report Chris needs directly or from the Program Books and Information Page. We’re trying to make this as easy as possible!
The American Red Cross is encouraging people to donate money on its Web site, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10. Apple is also accepting Red Cross donations via iTunes and the Apple App Store.
Americares, an emergency response organization based in Connecticut, is delivering emergency medicine and relief supplies and is working with a local clinic in Houston. Make a donation at americares.org.
United Way Worldwide has a relief fund to provide shelter and basic needs, as well as long-term recovery efforts.
The Salvation Army is accepting donations for hurricane relief at give.salvationarmyusa.org.
To help pets stranded by Hurricane Harvey, donations are being accepted by the Humane Society of the United States.
For volunteer opportunities or other places to donate, check with National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.
We were contacted by Jeffrey Roth of Lancaster Farming asking for contact information of Maine farm families or organizations who are either going to help flood victims in Texas or who are providing support in other ways. The editors at Lancaster Farming are planning coverage of farmers and farm organizations which are mobilizing to help flood victims in Texas in some way. If you know of any such families or organizations, you may contact him directly:
Jeffrey B. Roth
Note this is not just a request for Grange efforts… any individuals and organizations who are mobilizing to aid victims should contact Jeffrey. A secondary challenge in a situation like this is making certain folks know how they can help. Thanks to Lancaster Farming for making this effort.
I also contacted Amanda Brozana Rio, National Grange Communications Director, who advised she is “coordinating with our National Junior Director who lives in San Antonio about how our Juniors may take this project on and invite adult members to be part of the process. At this point, I think we’re all waiting for the rains to stop and figure out what the need is that could be most adequately met by our members.”
As additional information becomes available, rest assured we will share it on the Maine State Grange website!
This “spot on” commercial has aired on PBS… great explanation of what the Grange has been and is about!
The following article appeared in today’s “Word of the Day” email from the Dictionary Project:
During 2016, the Arkansas Corrections Department and the Arkansas Literacy Councils partnered together to send dictionaries to fourteen prisons in the area. Heather Powell, the Training Director at the Arkansas Literacy Councils, reached out to share their story with us.
“Last year we [the Arkansas Literacy Councils] piloted a joint program with ADC to train literacy and ESL tutors within the prisons. To date, we have trained over 200 literate inmates as tutors. The tutors work with other inmates who have low or no literacy skills, tutoring from the Laubach Way to Reading/English programs. These student dictionaries are just the right level for introducing students in how to use a dictionary.”
Often times, we at the Dictionary Project are asked by organizations what they should do with dictionaries that are left over after their distributions are complete. We would ask you to please consider donating them to prisons in your area. Statistics show that literacy rates in the American prison system are at only 40% for adult inmates, and 15% for juveniles (literacyprojectfoundation.org). A vital skill that many of us take for granted, the ability to read could greatly impact the lives of inmates who would otherwise not have access to the basic level of education that every human being should have.
Thank you, Heather Powell at the Arkansas Literacy Councils for this story.
As a big fan of the Dictionary Project, this is interesting on several points. First, the question about left over dictionaries may include something that can easily be overlooked. In our Valley Grange Program, we have learned there is one hazard with keeping leftover dictionaries and mixing them with new ones the following year. Some teachers have the students keep their dictionaries at school for use in the classroom–both to learn dictionary skills and to use as a resource. If there is a change in the dictionary, mixing last year’s edition with this year’s can create confusion. This is easy to manage as long as you aware and pay attention to edition numbers. But it is possible to have “left over” dictionaries even though you are repeating the program every year.
Second, there are additional community service opportunities where we, as Granges and Grangers, can make an impact. As this article suggests, we can offer dictionaries to prisons. Most areas also have volunteer adult literacy programs. I occasionally hear the comment that the schools are already getting dictionaries from another organization. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a dictionary project–it just means it won’t be “Words for Thirds.” It’ll be words for others! Just think Literacy! (We have given our leftover dictionaries to local libraries and keep a few at the Hall to give to any children that visit.)
And it is that time of year to start thinking about your program with your schools. By providing dictionaries in the fall, kids get more use from them! In the twelve years Valley Grange has been providing dictionaries, we’ve learned a lot! You can read the history of our program and, more importantly, if you have any questions or I can help you with your program, please let me know (webmastermainestategrangeorg) !