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.
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.
Valley Grange was proud to host the Spirit of America Awards Celebration recently. When called to the front at the conclusion of the program honoring some seventeen individuals and organizations in Piscataquis County, members were surprised to learn they too were being recognized for their “heart for community service” and had been dubbed the “Top Grange in the State of Maine.”
Parkman Grange was also recognized for the many programs and services they provide including the SAD 4 Santa Program, Veterans’ Appreciation, Mothers’ Day Tea, and a number of activities and parties for children.
There was only one empty chair in the hall as local folks came to celebrate the “Spirit of America” making for a truly warm night in spite of the cold outside.
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.
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.
Yes, it’s official! Christine Corliss announced the winners of the community service and family health and hearing contests. “We’ve had an awesome year, with great participation,” Corliss said. “But best of all a lot of communities have benefited from the programs our Granges represent.” Community Service awards were presented to:
- First Place, Bangor Grange
- Second Place, Danville Junction Grange
- Third Place, Maple Grove Grange
- Fourth Place, Valley Grange
Corliss also noted that the Committee presented a special community service Granger of the year award to Glenys Ryder of Danville Junction. “Glenys has not missed a single community service or family health and hearing contest for a lot of years. She certainly deserves recognition and appreciation.”
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!