Sep 012017
 

 

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

The Maine Emergency Management Agency released the following statement to assist those who are interested in contributing to disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Harvey:

Most often, the best way you can help others during a disaster is to donate money or goods. Here are some helpful tips to make sure your generosity helps the most.

Giving cash is always the best way to help disaster recovery because of its flexibility and ability to boost the local economy’s recovery.

If you’d rather donate goods, make sure you are only donating items that have been specifically requested by an organization directly involved in the recovery effort and that you have made contact with someone at that organization who will receive the items from you.

Here are some websites that can help you determine how charitable organizations rank. Most reputable organizations will allow you to designate your donation for a specific disaster or program:

  • Charity Navigator rates charities based on their financial health, accountability and transparency, and results reporting. They also list some best practices for savvy donors.
  • The Better Business Bureau also rates charitable organizations and allows you to check out specific charities and donor reviews.
  • GuideStar is another place to find reliable information on trusted non-profits, as well as tips on choosing the right charity to give to.
  • The Federal Trade Commission offers this advice for giving wisely after a disaster.
  • The Maine Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division also has excellent tips for donating to charities.

Check out our fact sheet on Volunteering in a Disaster for more information on helping out personally in disaster situations.


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Aug 232017
 

Last Saturday night was our beanhole dinner at the Fairview, followed by music by the lake. We served close to 100 beanhole bean enthusiasts yeast rolls, brown bread, cole slaw, blueberry cake, ham, and of course, beans and hot dogs. A Smithfield bargain at $8.00. At 6 p.m. sharp the Snow Pond Pantastics delighted all with their steel drum band music. Nothing more fun than that sound by the water. After a set of “steel” the “regulars” plus or minus, kicked it into gear and played under the lights until about 9:30, extending our 6:00-9:00 Jam Session, as the crowd demanded. Special performances by two young ladies, the first visiting with her grandparents and just nine years old and the latter, a friend and sometimes performer at our Jam, a 12-year-old singer. She sang “Happy Birthday” to our Grange Lecturer, Kevin James… just 39, again this year. At the end of the night, the Fairview Grange had benefitted by about $800.00 which keeps your local Grange open, able to stay relevant in your community, and able to maintain and improve the facility. We appreciate the support of all who attended and especially want to thank those who shopped, cooked, planned, cleaned, prepared, served, baked, lugged tables, built the stage, cut the grass, washed dishes, hauled the trash or in any other way worked to put on the event. It doesn’t happen by itself, so thanks to those Grange members! Also, we should add that it was especially nice to see some of our long time Grange members who have “been there, and done that” support the Fairview by attending. David, Marilyn, Elery, Olive (and young Mr. Bobby Corson) and any others I may have missed. I was busy in the kitchen! Big thanks, Rick “Master” Fairview Grange.

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Aug 222017
 

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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  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)  !

 

Aug 182017
 

Webmaster’s Note:  The following article is reprinted with permission from an e-newsletter published by Paul Stearns, State Representative for District 119. Looks like some potentially good resources for a timely Lecturer’s Program or Family Health and Hearing Report!

As summer draws to a close, back-to-school season is in full effect.  Remember to safely share the roads with school buses, pedestrians, and bicyclists, and provide children with the necessary knowledge to stay safe at school.

The National Safety Council has a number of helpful resources that promote safety, including Pedestrian Safety, Safe Riding in a Car, Distracted Walking, First-Time Rider School Bus Tips, and more.

Also available on this site are video PSAs on Back to School:  Driving Safely with School Buses and Stop Bullying:  What Parents Can Do.

There are also bullying and suicide prevention resources available on my website. For a slightly different perspective on the issue of bullying, read Where you fly makes a difference.

Aug 162017
 

Highland Lake Grange celebrated the 150th Birthday of National Grange with an open house August 13, 2017. Over 25 neighbors joined current and former Grangers to enjoy an afternoon of food, door prizes, birthday cake, tours of the Grange and a local trivia game “Duck Pond Jeopardy” with host “Monty Grange Hall.” Pennies were collected for House in the Woods and several guests left with membership applications….two applications were turned in!

Read the local media’s coverage of this event!

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Aug 142017
 

Corliss

Community Service Corner

Hello, Fellow Grangers! I am glad that some Community Service Books have rolled in and more are still rolling in. Let’s please try to get the 25% needed, so if you have not sent in an Activity Sheet and/or Community Service Book please do so. They can be emailed to me at christinecorlissatymaildotcom  (christinecorlissatymaildotcom)   or USPS Christine Corliss, 162 Center Road, Lebanon ME 04027. I greatly appreciate all of the hard work that each Grange and Granger puts into this program.  This program would not be a success without all of you.  Let’s be looking forward to the Idea Fair that will be happening in Augusta on September 16th, from 10 – 2. All Grangers and Granges are welcome to attend. If you would like more information on the subject please feel free to contact me via the above-listed information.  Looking forward to seeing you all at State Session.

 

Family, Health & Hearing

I would also like to thank everyone who participated in the FH & H Contest again this year.  If you have not already sent in your form please do so now. It can be emailed to me or USPS to me via the information listed in the Community Service Corner section.  It is great to hear of so many Granges taking part in making their Grange members aware of health, family, and social items.  September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month, National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month, September 7th – 12th is National Suicide Prevention Week, & September 21st is World Alzheimer’s Day.  Please let your Grange members know about one or all of these items.

Maine State Grange Community Service making a difference “ONE” project at a time!

Jul 092017
 

The Bethel Historical recently announced the publication of State Grange Historian Stanley R. Howe’s WILLIAM BINGHAM 2ND: A LIFE. (Paperback, 190 pages). Although born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1879, William Bingham, 2nd would eventually adopt Bethel, Maine as his home for most of his life.

From his uncle, Oliver Hazard Payne (1839-1917), he and his siblings would inherit a fortune that made him at one time, the wealthiest person in Maine. He spent his life as a philanthropist supporting a wide variety of causes from building hospitals and supporting educational institutions in several places around the world. Most of the buildings at Bethel’s Gould Academy were financed with Bingham gifts.  He also provided scholarships to deserving students.  Former Maine Governor and Senator Edmund S. Muskie’s legal education, for example, at Cornell University, was funded by Will Bingham, who rarely appeared in public and avoided publicity. At one time, he was Bates College’s largest donor.  Today three foundations bearing his name carry on his philanthropic legacy. Information on acquiring this book can be obtained by calling the Bethel Historical Society at (207) 824-2908 or going to its website: www.bethelhistorical.org and visiting the online Museum Shop. The mailing address for the Society is P.O. Box 12, Bethel, Maine 04217.

Jun 202017
 

Imagine Valley Grange’s Community Service Director Mary Annis’s surprise when she arrived at Will’s Shop ‘n Save in Dover-Foxcroft to see two large banners hanging from the ceiling! One proudly proclaims what Mary and other Grangers knew… Melissa and Will Wedge, owners of Will’s Shop ‘n Save, were named Valley Grange Community Citizens of the Year, 2017.  The second announces that Will’s Shop ‘n Save was the Small Business Administration’s Business of the Year in 2016.

The store and its owners are well-known throughout the area for their support of the community in part because they are truly part of the community. How many grocery stores do you know that actually have a small food cupboard run by two young kids?! (Check out the cover photo on their Facebook Page.) Melissa and Will are two very thoughtful people and great examples of the fact that pride and humility are not in opposition to each other. We’ll congratulate them again–and says “thanks” for acknowledging Valley Grange’s award!

Jun 122017
 

Jefferson firefighter Don Hastings was presented with a Spirit of America Award on Thursday, June 8 at Willow Grange in Jefferson. Hastings was recognized for his service to the town of Jefferson.

Hastings grew up in Tallman, N.Y., where he was a junior fireman until he moved to Spring Valley, N.Y., where he served as deputy chief from 1960-1962 and chief from 1962-1964.
Then he was hired as the Rockland County fire coordinator and managed the fire mutual aid system, the fire dispatch system, and operations at the Rockland County Fire Training Center.

He retired in 1991 and moved to Jefferson, Maine. He immediately signed on with Jefferson Fire and Rescue. After discovering that firefighters in Lincoln County did not have advanced training available to them, Hastings began to arrange training at Rockland County’s large training facility. He worked with the Lincoln County Fire Chiefs Association and Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency Director Gerry Silva to arrange bus transportation to New York so hundreds of Lincoln County firefighters could receive training.

Lincoln County firefighters formed a bond with firefighters from Rockland County, which led to the donation of used fire equipment, including trucks, to departments in Lincoln County.
Hastings was a “very vivid supporter of the formation” of the Lincoln County Fire Academy, Lincoln County Fire Academy President Dave Pratt said. The first class to graduate from the Lincoln County Fire Academy was in 2007, and the Academy recognized Hastings’ work by presenting an award in his name to one of the graduates, John Roberts, a member of Willow Grange.
Hastings thoroughly enjoyed the evening, often interrupting to tell a story or recognize a fellow firefighter. Roll call was by fire department: Jefferson, 17; Waldoboro, 2; Damariscotta, 2; Bremen, 2; and Thomaston, 1. There were also 14 Grangers from Willow (3 are firefighters), one member of Chelsea Grange and ten guests.


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Jun 102017
 

Nine Grangers and friends spent two days recently at Maple Grove #148 meeting hall preparing 12 quilts for Project Linus. They will be donated to Center for Grieving Children in Portland.
Pictured here are Pauline Spencer, White Rock Grange, Norma Haines, Mount Etna Grange, Jackie Morgan, Lyn Carter and Ann Burns, Maple Grove Grange. Back row: Sue Farrington, Edie Maynard, and Holly Welch all of Maple Grove. Absent when photo was taken, Pat Smart, of Bridgton.