Oct 212016

flag-1070437_1280By Amanda Leigh Brozana
National Lecturer

The Grange is both a highly patriotic organization and one filled with amazingly talented individuals who understand the power and sentiment of handicrafts such as quilts. As part of our Patriot’s Program, started in 2012, we are heavily encouraging all Granges to identify members who are veterans or active duty service members that were deployed during war time and request for them a QUILT OF VALOR.

Quilts of Valor are free, made by volunteers who seek to “cover service members and veterans touched by war with comfort and healing Quilts of Valor.”

Go to: www.qovf.org/  Click on Take Action and REQUEST A QUILT.

Once you have submitted a request, or if you know of a Grange member who has received a Quilt of Valor in the past, please contact me by email at lectureratnationalgrangedotorg  (lectureratnationalgrangedotorg)   or call (202) 628-3507 ext. 102 to inform us of your request/the Quilt of Valor already received, the name of the veteran and your Grange’s name.

Please don’t forget, certificates are available for FREE from the National Grange to recognize veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam and the conflicts not classified as wars during the Cold War Era. Certificates will be available in mid-2017 for Gulf War Veterans in 2018 for all those serving in the post-9/11 era conflicts/wars. This program is sponsored by Potomac Grange No. 1 (DC). Informational DVDs are available to explain WWII – what led to the war, the war itself, its toll and its impact on our nation – and the Korean War. DVDs on Vietnam and the Cold War conflicts are expected out in 2017 and Gulf War and Post-9/11 in 2018. These can be used to glean information needed for a great lecturer’s program or can be an introduction for Junior Grangers and Grange Youth to citizenship and patriotism lessons.

Mar 282016
Second graders watch and listen for the magic moment when butter appears in the jar.

Second graders watch and listen for the magic moment when butter appears in the jar.

In something of a perfect storm, Valley Grangers experienced a bit of March Madness recently with two major community service projects involving local students. First up was their annual GrowME Collaboration–a joint effort with Piscataquis County UMaine Extension and Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District. By pooling resources and volunteers, the three organizations this year visited with over 500 students from Kindergarten through Third Grade in Piscataquis County. With a mission of “increasing agricultural literacy and making it fun,” volunteers help kindergartners build an animal graph, first graders taste and sort apples, second graders make their own butter, and third graders construct their very own “dirt babies.”

Walter Boomsma, program director for Valley Grange is especially proud of the fact that “we have no budget and not much structure–just a bunch of people who love working with kids and providing positive experiences.” His specialty is making butter with second graders. “We have fun and the kids almost don’t realize they are learning–some have even asked for instructions and then made butter at home as a family activity.”

Winning ad drawn by fourth Grader Summer Nesbit

Winning ad drawn by fourth Grader Summer Nesbit

Another initiative the Grange has supported long enough that it’s a school tradition is a contest among third and fourth graders to design two advertisements for the Grange in the Piscataquis Observer’s Annual Newspapers in Education Supplement. The program is a favorite of Piscataquis Community Elementary School Art Teacher Jane Daniels because it “gives the kids a practical side of art.” Valley Grange Master Jim Annis notes that “We have strong ties to kids…” with Grange members involved regularly at the local schools. “We’ve actually built a series of programs that range from Bookworming and Words for Thirds to our blistered finger knitters making hats and mittens for the kids who need them. The kids know us and we know them.”

Valley Grange Community Service Chair Mary Annis is quick to note that this is not a one-way street. “In addition to the fun we have, the kids help us. We recently collected twelve pounds of ‘Coups for Troops’ most of which came from collection boxes placed in local schools. We like the feeling that we are redefining community and good ways of working together.”

Additional information about all of the Valley Grange Programs can be found on their website, http://valleygrange.com. The GrowME Collaboration maintains a basic information and resource site at http://growmehelp.wordpress.com.

Aug 202015

Parkman Grange members have announced a number of community and Grange events and projects planned throughout the fall. The first is their Fourth Annual Military Appreciation Supper on September 19, 2015 from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.  As a token of appreciation, the meal is served free to all active and retired military personnel. Others may attend by donation and any proceeds will be applied towards the much needed new roof for the hall. The menu will include ham, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, a choice of salads, casseroles and desserts.

The annual “Five Guns in Five Minutes” raffle is underway. Tickets are $10 and are available at KC’s Store in Parkman, Lovell’s Hardware and Herring Brothers Market in Guilford or by calling Don Pepin at 343-0274. The lucky winners will be drawn at the Grange’s annual Hunters’ Supper on November 14, 2015.

A goal of Parkman Grange is to encourage parents and children to read together, thus building a solid foundation for future success. Members of the Minnie Bridge Family provide the funds necessary to allow the Grange to provide pre-k students with a book bag and selection of books every fall. The Grange will also host a Halloween Party on October 31, 2015 that will include pizza, candy, and some surprises!

And, looking towards the Holiday Season,  Parkman Grange is planning to organize the Santa Project for MSAD 4 kids. The program provides warm winter coats and boots and a toy for eligible kids. This program is made possible by the support of many organizations and individuals and requires lots of effort. Support may be financial, but hands are also needed. Grange volunteers are already making plans—if you’d like to help in any way, please contact Susan Manchester at 277-3942. The Grange also makes a gift to the community with an annual Christmas Party, scheduled this year for December 12. The party gives kids the opportunity to complete easy craft projects that may become gifts for their family and friends. Cookies, spiced cider, and hot cocoa are also served and Santa and Mrs. Claus find time to visit,  listen to the children’s wishes, and pose for a photo or two.

In announcing these plans, Grange Master Susan Manchester noted, “Our plans would only be dreams were it not for the generosity and commitment of our members and the community. It is so rewarding to watch many groups and individuals come together in support of good work.” Manchester also noted that details will be announced as projects and events approach. The Grange also maintains a Facebook Page with information. All events are planned at the Parkman Grange Hall located at the junction of Route 150 and North Dexter Road in the center of town.

Feb 112015

Honor VetsThe certificates used to recognize your Vietnam vet, can be ordered from me and are ready now. To request the certificate, please make sure to include the following information: name of veteran, name of Grange they belong to or who is giving it out, the name of the local master and lecturer, the city and town the Grange/Veteran is located in and a shipping address. There is no cost to you or your Grange for program material or the certificates. This program is sponsored by Potomac Grange #1.

If you missed out on our program information for WWII and Korea they are still available to order. All you need to do is contact Communications Manager, Bryan Marchefsky, at bmarchefskyatnationalgrangedotorg  (bmarchefskyatnationalgrangedotorg)   or call at 888-4-Grange. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Webmaster’s Note: Could your Grange consider building a Grange Month Program based on this? There’s no cost for these certificates! (Note that you must contact National Grange, not the Maine State Grange for the certificates. If you’d like some assistance and ideas for putting a program together, contact Community Service Director Chris Corliss or Communications Director Walter Boomsma. We’ll try to help!

Sep 102014

Corliss (638x640)

By Christine Corliss, Community Service/FHH Director

Hello all!

Yet another month has passed and we are here in September.  Only one month until State Session and the winners of the Community Service Books will be announced.  Thank you to all who have sent in books and Activity Sheets thus far.  The EMT/Firefighter and Police Officer of the Year is coming along nicely thanks to some great dedication by MSG Community Service Member Yvonne Johnson.  My hat is off to her on all of her work.  The first place winners in each category will be announced during State Session.   A new packet will be coming out soon for the Community Service requirements for books for the new year.  Please keep in mind you only have to submit the Activity Summary Sheet to be counted towards the 25% we need to receive a cash reward from National Grange.  Grangers let’s all keep up the good work.

FH & Hearing – October has lots of different items. The most popular are Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Mental Illness Awareness Week, SIDS Awareness Month & Healthy Lung Month.  Join forces with your Community Service Director, Lecturer or Chaplain to plan an event to bring awareness to some of these items.

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

Aug 052014

Corliss (638x640)

By Christine Corliss, Community Service/FHH Director

Hello all! Another month has come and gone we are at the start of August, well by the time your Grange reads this middle of August, not long until State Session.  I would like to say the Coups for Troops project is moving right along and I hope you included that in your Community Service Book.  I would like to thank all those who have already turned in Community Service Forms as of right now.  We are on our way to the 25% of Grange participating this year.  The EMT/Firefighter/Police Officer of the Year program is also moving with leaps and bounds.  Thank you to all the Granges who participated in this program also.  AWESOME!!!!! Let’s all keep up the great work.  Always remember to keep your community in mind and get the name of the Grange out there.  We are a great organization that just needs a little more notice.  This year at State Session the Community Service table will not only be raffling off baskets but we have a handmade “Granny Square” queen size afghan in blues and purples being raffled off.  The proceeds from the baskets will be going to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital.

I am still looking for pictures and write ups on your Grange’s “Favorite” Community Service Activity this year to put together the scrapbook for state session.  Please be sure to send them to me.  Christine Corliss 162 Center Road Lebanon, ME 04027 and for those who have email, scan and email them to me at ccorlissavonatmetrocastdotnet  (ccorlissavonatmetrocastdotnet)   or ccorlissavonatmetrocastdotnet  (ccorlissavonatmetrocastdotnet)  .

Family, Health & Hearing – Lots of people forget that you can do a great community service project working with your Family, Health and Hearing Director.  September has a lot of items to think about.  World Alzheimer’s Day is Sept 21, World Heart Day is Sept 24, and Suicide Prevention day is Sept 10.  Also for the month of September – Fruit and Veggie – More matters month.  How about contacting the local school and teaching children about planting, growing and producing more fresh veggies which gives them more nutrients and is healthier than “candy”.  A few items that are dear and near to my heart are in September – National Prostate Cancer Awareness, gynecological Cancer and Awareness & National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Awareness Month.  These three items can be silent killers – They hide and sometimes you and those around you are not even aware they exist until it is too late.  BE TESTED AND BE AWARE.

Have a Great August all and enjoy all the fairs.

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

Jul 032014

Corliss (638x640)

By Christine Corliss, Community Service/FHH Director

Hello All!!! Hope everyone is enjoying this great weather!!! I know my husband Dan & I have been really enjoying our garden being complete and our swimming pool.

Just a few reminders this month.  August is right around the corner.  BE SURE TO SEND YOUR COMMUNITY SERVICE BOOKS IN BY AUGUST 15, 2014 to:

Maine State Grange Headquarters
Attn:  Community Service
146 State Street
Augusta, ME 04330

Please also make sure to send in those nominations for Police/Firefighter/EMT of the Year by August 1, 2014 to:

Christine Corliss
Community Service Director
162 Center Road
Lebanon, ME 04027

If you have any questions to give me a call at 207-651-6494 or via email at ccorlissavonatmetrocastdotnet  (ccorlissavonatmetrocastdotnet)   or christinecorlissatymaildotcom  (christinecorlissatymaildotcom)  .

The Coups for Troops Project has been a great success.  We are up to 15 boxes sent out and each box weighs over eight pounds of “cut” coupons.  The total is just over 120 pounds of coupons sent out.  I am in awe of the time, attention and number of Granges and Grangers who are participating in this project.  I truly have to send out my deepest thanks to all of you.  This shows what a team effort can do.

I would also like to do a scrapbook of events from around Maine for a Maine State Grange Community Service Book.  If you would like your Grange included in this book, please send me a write-up of the project along with a picture.  If we get a good response I would like to put this book together for State Session this year to display on the table for all to see.  I will also put together copies of it for individuals or Granges to take home with them.

Family Health & Hearing – Let’s not forget about this either.  Bringing awareness and giving other reminders sometimes jogs the brains of busy people to be aware of things.  Sunscreen, bug spray, and the danger of ticks are just a few of the things that need our attention this time of year.  Be sure to have fun with this! Join up with the Worthy Lecturer of your Grange and do a whole program!  August is also, Child Support Awareness Month, Cataract Awareness Month, National Immunization Awareness Month, Psoriasis Awareness Month and Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month.  Check out each one of these websites for more information and remember to bring awareness and fun from each committee to your Granges.

Hope everyone had/has a great and safe Fourth of July.

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

Jun 082014

Corliss (638x640)

By Christine Corliss, Community Service/FHH Director

Well happy warm weather all! Community Service is happy to say we have sent out a total of 12 boxes with over 2000 coupons each to 3 different locations and due to the overwhelming response to this project by many Granges, the Coups for Troops folks are currently seeking two more groups for us to send coupons.  I have to sincerely thank all the Granges and individuals who have been sending the Committee their coupons.  KUDOS to all of you.  I would like to also thank two ladies of Riverside Grange #475 – Sister Nancy Godwin and Sister Cassie Corliss who have been working their fingers to the bone cutting coupons to ship more efficiently.  Thank you Ladies.  Community Service is also in full gear with the supreme guidance of Yvonne Johnson – who has been diligently working on the Maine State Grange EMT/Fire Fighter/ & Police Officer of the Year.  Please send in your nominations by August 1st and thanks to all who have already sent them in.

Please also keep in mind August is fast approaching and your Community Service Books need to be received by August 15th at State Headquarters. Please make sure to send instruction on how you would like it sent back to you.  Let’s all work together so we can hit the goal of 25% participation.  Anyone has any questions please feel free to contact me at 207-457-6265 or 207-651-6494. You can also email ccorlissavonatmetrocastdotnet  (ccorlissavonatmetrocastdotnet)   or christinecorlissatymaildotcom  (christinecorlissatymaildotcom)  .

Here are some ideas for Family, Health & Hearing for June:  06/22-06/28 is Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week – join up with your Worthy Lecturer and plan a program.  June is also National Dairy Month, Adopt-a-cat Month, National Safety Month–to just name a few.  Remember to educate your Grange but let’s have fun in the process!  Also, to plan ahead – July is Park and Recreation Month, Eye Injury Prevention Month, and Smart Irrigation Month—again, just to name a few.  Have a great June and Enjoy the weather.  Don’t forget to send me that favorite international recipe for posting on website mid-June. (Bulletin readers should plan to send mid-July or August!)

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

Jun 042014

This article appeared in the Spring Edition of the Pirates’ Treasure Chest–the S.A.D. 4 School Newsletter… Valley Grange also has a collection box at SeDoMoCha Elementary School in Dover Foxcroft.

Second Grader Connor Hamlin and Kindergarteners Caleb McKusick and Brandon Reed add coupons to the collection bin.  Caleb is proud that his family contributed a “bagful of coupons.”

Second Grader Connor Hamlin and Kindergarteners Caleb McKusick and Brandon Reed add coupons to the collection bin. Caleb is proud that his family contributed a “bagful of coupons.”

Guilford—Valley Grange and PCES (Piscataquis Community Elementary School) students to have joined hands in an effort to support troops stationed overseas by supporting the “Coups for Troops” program.  The program was started in 2011 by Stephanie Almasy and several friends who were saving their families hundreds of dollars each month by clipping coupons.  Almasy learned that military families overseas could use coupons at commissaries and she and her friends time sent coupons to twenty-six families. Just a few months later, over four hundred military families from over ten countries signed up for coupons and the program began growing geometrically.

Coupons are collected in bulk, then packaged and mailed directly to individual families overseas. Valley Grange Program Director Walter Boomsma says he was particularly impressed by the simplicity of the program. “This is what we might call a ‘no-brainer,’” Boomsma said. “The only requirement is an ability to use scissors!”

“The kids just bring them to school and drop them in the collection bin,” Boomsma explained. “Other than a little wear and tear on scissors, there’s absolutely no cost involved to those who want to help out! Keep the ones you can use and get the rest to us.”

Students seem to agree and enjoy adding their contributions to the collection box in the PCES lobby. Kindergarten student Brandon Reed says that “…being a soldier is a lot of work, so we should help them.” Second Grader Connor Hamlin thinks it’s pretty awesome to be able to help and thinks “they will like the food coupons the best and the probably water coupons too because it’s hot and they get thirsty.

PCES Principal Julie Orton believes the program is a good fit for the school’s mission. “The Coups for Troops Program is an opportunity for our students to ‘give back.’  It’s all part of a bigger picture, which is helping students to become responsible and involved citizens, an important focus of the Guiding Principles of Maine’s Learning Results. Our students and their families have always shown generosity toward others in need and I fully expect that this project will be another success.”

Additional information about the program is available at http://valleygrange.com.

May 062014

Garland Grange is asking the community to help support the troops and their families stationed overseas by supporting the “Coups for Troops” program.

The program was started in 2011 by Stephanie Almasy after attending a couponing class. She learned that military families could use coupons which were expired up to 6 months at the commissary. After packaging and sending to the military families, within a few months over four hundred families signed up to receive coupons, since then the program’s need has increased steadily.

Recently the Maine State Grange recently qualified as a satellite collection center where coupons are collected in bulk, then packaged and mailed directly to individual families overseas.

The premise of this program is simple. “All you have to do is use scissors,” says Andrea Rollins, program director. “We are simply asking people to clip out the coupons. You don’t need to worry about expiration dates. The only coupons which cannot be used the ones for specific stores.”

Garland Grange is asking anyone who wishes to donate any unwanted coupons to bring them to the Grange Hall on the second Friday of each month between 5 and 7 pm, which is when their monthly public suppers are held. You can also drop off them off on the their regular meeting night on the first and third Fridays of each month at 7:30 pm. The Garland Grange Hall is located on Oliver Hill Road in Garland.

“Dropping the coupons off during supper should be easy,” adds Rollins. “We already have supper patrons who come each month with their collection of Campbell Soup Labels, Box Tops for Education, pennies for House in the Woods, and soda can tabs for the Shriners.” Other pickup options of coupons is available by contacting 717-7027 or through their Garland Grange #76 Facebook page.