Nearly every month we receive and post an updated list from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs of their needs. The list includes volunteer opportunities as well as items needed, plus a short list of items that are not needed or cannot be accepted at this time. We’ve just posted the December List: VA-Wish-List-December-2017.
Attention Lecturers, Community Service, FH&H Directors…
The Maine Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division wants to help consumers become better informed about the latest scams and how to identify them, how to be a smart consumer, explain how the implied warranty law works, and offer assistance in the event of a dispute a consumer may have with a business.
To arrange for a free speaker to discuss consumer issues with your community group or organization, contact Complaint Examiner, Martha Currier at marthacurriermainegov (marthacurriermainegov) or (207) 626-8847.
Community Service Corner
We on the Community Service Committee would like to say “Happy Holidays” to everyone. It is the season of giving, but on this committee, the season of giving is year round. Can you remember as a child the feeling you had on Christmas morning when you ran out into the room where the Christmas Tree was and looked at the presents sitting under that tree? The red wagon with the big red bow around it, the handmade doll that years later you realize must have taken a family member a long time to get just right, sitting around the dinner table sharing laughs, memories, and fun for Christmas Dinner. Then you became an adult and wrapping your child’s first Christmas present, the preparation of that first Christmas as a couple, the joy in your heart when someone in your family opened that gift you gave them that you knew was just right. Your children have grown and now your wrapping your grandchildren’s gifts for their first Christmas and those feelings just come floating back again and your heart just seems to grow more and more each year, each memory. That is the feeling we should all hold in our hearts and minds each day of each year. People, organizations, and events that we do give those feelings to others that may not be able to feel this way because of life circumstances. When you think about a project, put aside the work it is going to take to get it done and sit back and remember a time when something was a lot of work but the reward was worth it. Put on a smile and do it. Community service projects give you those feelings every time they are completed. Let’s all make a difference one project at a time.
Family, Health & Hearing
Here are just some of the subjects that you can promote for December and January. Bring awareness and join one of these great organizations for a community service. Remember work with your Lecturer and set up a program for promoting awareness of these items. Play a game, share a poem, promote a fun fact. Invite the public and a guest speaker. Let’s show our community Grange is alive and well making a difference any way we can.
Tomato & Winter Squash Month
- December 1, World Aids Day, www.worldaids.org
- December 3, International Day of Persons with Disability, www.timeanddate.com/holidays
National Blood Donor Month, www.americanredcross.org
Thyroid Awareness Month, www.aace.com
Glaucoma Awareness Month, www.americanglaucomasociety.net
- January 4, World Braille Day, www.acbmaine.org
Here’s a great story about the St George Grange Christmas Craft Fair. Published in the St George Dragon, you have to love the headline:
It’s Christmas Fair time at a Grange that has become an important community center
The article talks about a lot more than this Grange’s Christmas Fair… you’ll learn about a fund the Grange has created for teachers to purchase school supplies–St George’s way of “giving back” to the community that helped them as they repaired and upgraded the hall. St George Grange also runs an important Window Dressers Program that assists in providing energy-saving window inserts and strives to be a center for community activity. This is a Grange that seems to have boundless energy… after the Christmas Fair, they actually are going to offer a Grange Supper. Check out this story of an exciting Grange with some exciting Grangers.
Meenahga Grange, of Waldoboro, donated $300 to Nobleboro Central School’s Battle of the Books teams. The money is to be used to purchase books for the AOS 93 program.
“We appreciate the support of the Meenahga Grange for our Battle of the Books effort this year,” said NCS librarian Kris Harriman, who co-coached the teams last year with eighth-grade teacher Laurie Stiles. “Our students already are thrilled and ready to start reading.”
Teams consist of four to six students each. Nobleboro fielded three teams last school year and captured three of the top four spots in the competition for grades six through eight at Lincoln Academy. The sixth-grade team, The Professors, placed first; The Bucket Squad came in third, and The Lit Squad took fourth.
The winning team won gift cards from Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop in Damariscotta. All students received T-shirts and celebrated with a pizza party after the competition. The LA library staff and student aides hosted the event. Pizza was donated by The Penalty Box, Hilltop Stop in Damariscotta, and the Newcastle Publick House.
The five AOS 93 schools will compete this season. Schools pick a book each to read. Students then write trivia questions about each book. Librarians and Lincoln Academy staff then pick the best questions from each book for the trivia competition. “The better the question, the more likely you will get your own question,” a Nobleboro student said.
Last year students read “Misadventures of the Family Fletcher,” “The Boys Who Challenged Hitler,” “Crossover,” and “American Born Chinese.”
Sample questions from “American Born Chinese” include: Why did Gin change his hair? What did Tim say when Gin was first introduced to class? What does Gin turn into and why?
Nobleboro teams met every Friday at lunch last year and practiced by forming questions and asking other teams in their school to answer them.
“Part of it is to get books into students’ hands. Lincoln Academy is a big help. They donate one book and we have to buy the other three,” Harriman said.
Part of the fun of the Battle of the Books competition is to dress up in costumes. The Professors dressed up in lab coats and safety glasses, and the Great Salt Bay Community School team dressed like the Fletcher family.
This year’s Battle of the Books event is scheduled for March 23, 2018 at Lincoln Academy. LA students will moderate the event.
2-1-1 Maine works with statewide organizations who are generous enough to provide a Thanksgiving meal, a Thanksgiving basket, a Christmas meal, a Christmas basket, and gifts for your loved ones during the holiday season. For holiday resources available in your area dial 2-1-1 to speak with a Call Specialist or text 898-211 for an online conversation.
Thanksgiving Meals & Programs Across Maine is the 2-1-1 website listing resources for help–and projects that might benefit from some help from your Grange!
Community Service Corner
I would like to congratulate all of the State Elected Officers have a great two years. The newest community service packet is available online. If you know your CS Director does not have internet access please feel free to contact me and I will send one out to you. Thank you to everyone who submitted Activity Sheets and or books again this year. It was great to reach 25% again. Let’s move forward and put the Granges name out there even more in the next two years.
Family, Health & Hearing
Thank you to everyone who submitted to the Family, Health & Hearing Contest, it was great to see the entries doubled. It is great to read all of the fun and informative topics Grangers are getting out there. Let’s keep up the good work. November is National Epilepsy Month, Prematurity Awareness Month, The third Thursday of November is American Smoke Out Day, November 12 -18 is Mouth Cancer Awareness Week. Let’s bring awareness to those in need.
Guilford–Piscataquis County winners of the 2017 Spirit of America Foundation Tribute for outstanding community service will be honored at a ceremony on Friday, November 17, 2017, starting at 7:00 PM in the Valley Grange Hall 172 Guilford Center Road, Guilford.
Spirit of America Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity established in Augusta, ME to encourage volunteerism. Since the first Spirit of America Foundation award was presented to Alma Jones by Augusta’s Mayor in 1991, over 500 Spirit of America ceremonies have taken place. Director Bruce Flaherty noted this presentation is based in Piscataquis County “because there are so many awards being given.”
Those to be honored (and receive a certificate signed by their Maine Legislators) at the countywide ceremony include: the Abbott Historical Society, David Kinney from Atkinson, Beaver Cove School Committee, Bowerbank Fire Department, Brownville-Brownville Junction Historical Society, Charlotte White Center, Partnership Food Pantry in Greenville, Herring Family from Guilford, Medford Planning Board, Milo’s Summer Meals Program, Monson Summerfest, Parkman Grange, Linda Hall & Wilson Nuite from Sangerville, Sebec Village Associates, Patricia Mace from Shirley, Wellington Fire Department, and Willimantic Civic Association.
The event is open to the public. “We hope friends and family of these recipients will come and help us salute these models of the volunteer spirit of America,” Flaherty suggested, adding that certificates from the Maine Legislature will be included. “This will be a fun, uplifting evening with no long speeches,” he promised.”
Valley Grange Program Director Walter Boomsma is excited the Grange has been given the honor of hosting the awards. “All Granges are about community and Valley Grange is certainly not an exception. We enjoy making our hall available to organizations dedicated to building strong individuals and communities. It is a special treat to host individuals and organizations doing just that!”
Due to the recent storm and resulting lack of power and other services… there may be some delays in website postings and email response time. We hope things will return to normal soon… have you considered opening your Grange Hall as a warming center? If you are providing services to your community, please use the “Submitting Information” Tab at the top of the page and tell us about it! We’ll do our best to share information and resources.