Feb 132018
 

Corliss

Community Service Corner

As we are heading into spring I hope everyone is gearing up for some new and exciting Community Service Projects.  The Community Service Committee is hard at work planning the first of three workshops to help both your Community Service and Family, Health & Hearing Committees with upcoming projects.  Please keep an eye out for the flyer on the Maine State Grange Website.  The event will be held March 24, 2018, from 11 am to 1 pm at Riverside Grange 488, Little River Road, Lebanon, ME 04027.  The committee plans on making this a fun and interactive event.  Bring your thinking caps.  Please contact Christine Corliss via email at Christinecorlissatymaildotcom  (Christinecorlissatymaildotcom)   or 207-651-6494 if you plan on attending.  Riverside Grange will be providing snacks for the event.  All are welcome to attend and have some fun.

 Family, Health & Hearing

March Awareness – Brain Injury Awareness Month, National MS Education and Awareness Month, March 2 – 9 is National Sleep Awareness Week, March 27th is American Diabetes Alert Day.  Try to bring knowledge to those around you on these items or even more.  Work together to provide the information to make people aware of just what is happening around the world.  Anything worth doing is worth doing together.

Let’s make a difference one project at a time.

Jan 312018
 

Webmaster’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission from an e-newsletter published by Paul Stearns, State Representative for District 119.

CA$H Maine is a statewide collaboration of ten coalitions, comprised of 50 non- and for-profit partners, working together to help empower Maine individuals and families to achieve long-term financial stability.  Since 2003, it has offered free tax preparation to qualified filers during tax season and educated hard-working families and individuals about programs in the community that can increase their incomereduce debt, and build savings.  CA$H Maine is a year-round resource, providing outreach and education about ways you can make the most of your money.

To find a coalition near you, click here.

Subscribe to Maine State Grange Website!

Jan 292018
 

Click to enlarge image

I know we do not usually feature local Grange events as posts to the website, but I’m making an exception with this one. because it may well represent an exciting future of “local” Grange events on several points!

First, at least three Granges are involved in this Community Discussion being held on February 2, 2018. It’s obvious from the flyer that Kennebec Valley Grange is hosting and East Madison Grange is sponsoring. What’s not as obvious is that Halcyon Grange is also involved–Master Heather Retberg and Bonnie Preston will be sharing their experience and expertise as part of the discussion.

Second, there’s some creative scheduling involved with a potluck before and music following. That’s three different incentives and opportunities at Kennebec Valley Grange right in a row–and each truly does follow the “community” theme.

Along those same lines, Highland Lake Grange recently shared information about the Beekeeping Program they offered before their “regular” meeting. As an exciting epilogue, Master Dave McGowen reports that two folks who attended the Beekeeping Program “stuck around” after and expressed interest in information about joining the Grange!

These are great examples of “everybody wins” ideas and programming! We often talk about our “grassroots” and how there can be and are differences in Granges and their focus. But the opportunities for collaboration, cooperation, and creativity abound!

Certainly, our structure suggests this could happen at the Pomona Level–one of the purposes of the Pomona Grange is to provide an opportunity to share and support. If there’s diversity in our Pomona, would it make sense to do a Pomona Event that features every Grange? A piece of the event might be to set up tables for each subordinate/community Grange and invite the public to come and learn about all the Granges in the area. (The host Grange would best be the most geographically central.

But informal arrangements can also work extremely well based on shared interests or physical location. There’s an old example explaining synergy (the combining of energies) as two plus two equals five. When two Granges get together to collaborate and cooperate, one plus one equals three!

And remember, collaboration and cooperation are not limited to other Granges. Valley Grange is currently working on a spring event that will potentially include Project Linus, quilting clubs, and high schools.

Share your stories! Do not underestimate your successes! Something as simple as how you schedule programs and meetings may trigger an idea that another Grange can use. Take photos of your successful events and send them for sharing.

Collaboration, cooperation, and creativity — another example of “the Grange Way.”

Email the Maine State Grange Webmaster Subscribe to Maine State Grange Website!

Jan 272018
 

Webmaster’s Note: Information provided courtesy of California State Grange.

A note of explanation… this information comes to us courtesy of California State Grange. These are grants available nationally… that might be of interest to Granges interested in Community Service Projects and rural development. Unfortunately, the information has passed through several hands and formats. As a result, the “clickable links” have been lost. I suspect, however, an Internet search wouldn’t be too difficult. Admittedly, most are fairly large scale but I thought any grant information is better than none and might start the wheels of creativity turning.

If you know of any grant sources, send whatever information you have and we’ll share it on the website! Sharing resources is also “the Grange Way.”

Email the Maine State Grange Webmaster

Support for Communities to Prepare for Environmental Challenges

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: Resilient Communities

The Resilient Communities program, an initiative of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) with support from Wells Fargo, is dedicated to helping communities prepare for future impacts associated with sea level rise, water quantity and quality, and forest conservation. The program places special emphasis on helping traditionally underserved, low- and moderate-income communities build capacity for resiliency planning and investments in “greener infrastructure. In 2018, grants will be offered in the following two categories: The Regional Adaptation through Regional Conservation Projects category will support projects that help prepare for fire in the Western Region, floods and droughts in the Central Region, and sea-level rise in the Eastern Region. Grants in this category will range from $200,000 to $500,000. The Community Capacity Building and Demonstration Projects category will support projects that help communities understand, organize, and take action to address risks and opportunities through

improved resilience brought about by enhanced natural features. Grants in this category, ranging from $100,000 to $250,000, can take place anywhere in the U.S., but should address multiple cities and communities. Nonprofit organizations, local governments, and Indian tribes are eligible to apply in both categories. The pre-proposal deadline is February 15, 2018; invited full proposals must be submitted by May 10, 2018. Visit the NFWF website to review the request for proposals.

New Dance Works Funded

National Dance Project: Production Grants

The National Dance Project (NDP), a program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, is widely recognized as one of the country’s major sources of funding for dance. NDP’s signature approach invests in artists to make new work and provides grants to the organizations that present those works on tour in their communities. The program provides a package of support that includes up to $45,000 towards the creation of a new work, approximately $10,000 in general operating support, and up to $35,000 to support a U.S. tour of the work. Grants are highly competitive and are awarded to around 20 dance projects each year. The upcoming inquiry application deadline is March 1, 2018. Visit the New England Foundation for the Arts website to review the funding criteria and access the application forms.

Grants to Develop Rural Community Design Workshops

Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) provides rural communities throughout the United States access to the resources they need to convert their own good ideas into reality. CIRD is offering competitive funding to as many as four small towns or rural communities to host an intensive, two-day community workshop to help build their capacity to solve their design challenges. The CIRD 2018 program is focused on helping rural leaders and residents come together to find creative solutions for the following design issues: Multimodal Transportation, Healthy Living by Design, and Main Streets. CIRD’s contribution includes a $10,000 stipend and in-kind technical assistance services. Support is provided for rural communities with a population of 50,000 or under. The application deadline is February 16, 2018. Visit the CIRD website to learn more about the program and to download the Request for Proposals.

Hiking Trail Projects Supported

American Hiking Society: National Trails Fund

The National Trails Fund, sponsored by American Hiking Society (AHS), provides support to grassroots nonprofit organizations throughout the country working toward establishing, protecting, and maintaining foot trails in America. The Fund’s grants, ranging from $500 to $3,000, help local groups build and protect America’s public trails. Grants will be considered for the following: projects that have hikers as the primary constituency; projects that secure trail lands, including acquisition of trails and trail corridors and the costs associated with acquiring conservation easements; projects that will result in visual and substantial ease of access, improved hiker safety, or avoidance of environmental damage; and projects that promote constituency building surrounding specific trail projects, including volunteer recruitment and support. Applying organizations must be AHS Alliance Members. Online applications are due February 16, 2018. Visit the American Hiking Society website for application guidelines, as well as information on becoming an AHS Member.

Funds for Literacy Programs in Company Communities

Dollar General Literacy Foundation

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation supports nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and libraries that offer literacy programs in communities served by Dollar General in 44 states. The Foundation provides support through the following grant programs: Adult Literacy Grants support nonprofit organizations that provide direct services to adults in need of literacy assistance. Family Literacy Grants support family literacy service providers that combine parent and youth literacy instruction. Summer Reading Grants help nonprofit organizations and libraries with the implementation or expansion of summer reading programs for students who are new readers, below grade level readers, or readers with learning disabilities. Online applications for the three programs described above must be submitted by February 22, 2018. In addition, Youth Literacy Grants support schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations that work to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. The application deadline for this program is May 17, 2018. Visit the Foundation’s website to access guidelines for each grant program.

Historic Preservation Supported

National Park Service

The Save America’s Treasures program provides preservation or conservation assistance to nationally significant historic properties and collections. The application deadline is February 21, 2018.

Award Honors Young Environmentalists

Environmental Protection Agency

The Presidents Environmental Youth Award honors a wide variety of projects developed by young individuals, school classes, summer camps, public interest groups, and youth organizations to promote environmental awareness. The application deadline is March 1, 2018.

Jan 212018
 

Prior to our regular meeting on January 18th, Highland Lake Grange No. 87 hosted a program on beekeeping. Master Beekeeper Chris Rogers, owner of Backwoods Bees in Windham, presented a fascinating discussion on the bee colonies, and the basics of beekeeping. Beekeeping has become very popular over the last ten years and is largely responsible for the resurgence of honey bees, which is vital to agriculture. Chris certainly created a buzz among the Grange members and guests in attendance!

Jan 212018
 

Let the nagging begin!

Seriously, this is your first reminder to start planning for Grange Month… National Grange recently announced, “One hundred fifty years—what a milestone! This year’s Grange Month should be filled with celebrations in every Grange, coast to coast! We have a proud history of supporting, educating, advocating, and entertaining rural Americans. Very few organizations last for 150 years so this is our time to celebrate.

Our theme for 2018 Grange Month is “That’s the Grange Way.”  Following up our Doers theme from 2017, it’s the Grange Way to be doers, to volunteer and give and contribute to life where we live.  To be outstanding citizens and be the bridge between two sides who won’t compromise. To teach the world how to get along, what faith, hope, and charity really mean in everyday life.  How to love others even if you don’t like them or don’t agree with them.   We want to tell the world what the Grange Way means, and why they should care, why they should want to join us and help with our efforts to improve lives from the grassroots up.”

And the really good news is the following resources are already available from the National Grange website:

There are a few more items, so you may just want to visit the 2018 Grange Month Page on the National Grange website. (The one thing that’s currently missing on the page is the order form for community service awards–that was available in the January issue of the Patrons Chain, but I’m also working on making it readily available, perhaps on the MSG website. More to come on that!

While it is traditional to think of April as “Grange Month,” when your Grange celebrates it is truly optional. Here in Maine, some Granges choose to wait until May when the weather tends to be more cooperative.

You’ll need to start making decisions soon, though! A good Grange Month Celebration should include advance planning and publicity. Celebrating a “Community Night” that includes honoring a local citizen is one of the more common practices. But this would be a great year to think outside the box! How about planning a special community service project that ties in? Would it make sense to have a special guest speaker or a panel discussion regarding community… or to announce the start of a community garden? 2018 is a great year to put your Grange “on the map” and in the public eye.

Here’s a publicity idea for you. At your next meeting, have someone snap a photo of members sitting in a circle having an intense discussion. Write a short “cutline” (caption) describing how members are planning your Grange Month Celebration, then send both to your local newspapers–and the MSG website. (Email the photo as an attachment–photos cannot easily be sent using the “submitting information” tab.)

If you need some help or have some great ideas to share, let us know! Let’s work together for the most successful Grange Month ever! That’s the Grange Way!

Email the Maine State Grange Webmaster

 

 

 

Jan 182018
 

Danville Junction Grange #65 has completed their Dictionary Project for this year!  We were able to distribute 360 dictionaries, which included five different schools in Auburn and New Gloucester. During our many years of participating in this project, our Grange has distributed over two thousand dictionaries, something of which we are very proud!

A special fund to purchase dictionaries has been established by Danville Junction Grange.  Money is raised for this fund in many ways.  We sell Rada knives and frozen chicken pies at our suppers and sales. Some money is donated by standing committees or individuals.  We also have received community service grants from the Maine State Grange.

The photo shows a group of students from one of our schools inspecting their new dictionaries.  While this project is very worthwhile, we Grangers, who deliver the dictionaries, gain so much enjoyment from feeling the excitement when we meet the students!  They are so excited and enthusiastic!  It is fun to watch their faces as they discover the sections on sign language, planets, presidents, and, of course, the page which has the longest word in the dictionary!  We feel that this is a very worthwhile project, and one which we can continue for many years to come.

Jan 032018
 

Corliss

Community Service Corner

I hope everyone is staying warm and had a wonderful and safe holiday season.  I want to welcome Anne Staples and Holly Welch to the Community Service/Family, Health & Hearing Committee. They will be a great addition.  If you need help in Penobscot Area please feel free to contact Anne Staples, in the Cumberland and Oxford Union Area please contact Holly Welch, in the York County area or anywhere else in the State please feel free to contact me.  Community Service would like to have individuals from several other areas join our team so that we can get the word out in person when needed.  Community Service will be hosting a few workshops over the year in different areas to talk about CS Books, Family, Health & Hearing Contest, “officer” of the year nominations and the Committee itself.  We are hoping to make this an interactive workshop with fun, laughs, and information.  Our first workshop will be held March 24, 2018, in the York County Area at Riverside Grange from 11 am to 1 pm.

Family, Health & Hearing

February is upon us sooner than we think, time to bring February Awareness to your Grange.  February is American Heart Month, National Children’s Dental Health Month, February 13 – 19 is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Awareness and February 14 is National Donor Day.  Please check out the American Heart Website for Little Hats Big Hearts Program.  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Affiliate/Little-Hats-Big-Hearts_UCM_487734_SubHomePage.jsp. Please copy and paste this address into your URL. It will bring you right to the information.  Anyone who knits or crochets can send some to them.  Please take the time to participate. Just be sure to include your Grange and State name when sending them in.  Take a picture and include in your CS Book.

Let’s make a difference one project at a time.

Dec 052017
 

Thanks to the VA for providing this information… you can always find the latest list on the Program Books Page in the Community Service Section.

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.