Congratulations, East Sangerville Grange! A recent post on the Maine State Grange Website about the adventures of the “Fighting 177th” was picked up by the National Grange and printed in the current issue of Good Day! the magazine published by National Grange. We can debate whether or not programs like this are traditional but there’s no question they generate excitement in the Grange and the community. So let’s hear a Grange Cheer for this exciting Grange and these exciting Grangers!
The American Red Cross is encouraging people to donate money on its Web site, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10. Apple is also accepting Red Cross donations via iTunes and the Apple App Store.
Americares, an emergency response organization based in Connecticut, is delivering emergency medicine and relief supplies and is working with a local clinic in Houston. Make a donation at americares.org.
United Way Worldwide has a relief fund to provide shelter and basic needs, as well as long-term recovery efforts.
The Salvation Army is accepting donations for hurricane relief at give.salvationarmyusa.org.
To help pets stranded by Hurricane Harvey, donations are being accepted by the Humane Society of the United States.
For volunteer opportunities or other places to donate, check with National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.
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.
We were contacted by Jeffrey Roth of Lancaster Farming asking for contact information of Maine farm families or organizations who are either going to help flood victims in Texas or who are providing support in other ways. The editors at Lancaster Farming are planning coverage of farmers and farm organizations which are mobilizing to help flood victims in Texas in some way. If you know of any such families or organizations, you may contact him directly:
Jeffrey B. Roth
Note this is not just a request for Grange efforts… any individuals and organizations who are mobilizing to aid victims should contact Jeffrey. A secondary challenge in a situation like this is making certain folks know how they can help. Thanks to Lancaster Farming for making this effort.
I also contacted Amanda Brozana Rio, National Grange Communications Director, who advised she is “coordinating with our National Junior Director who lives in San Antonio about how our Juniors may take this project on and invite adult members to be part of the process. At this point, I think we’re all waiting for the rains to stop and figure out what the need is that could be most adequately met by our members.”
As additional information becomes available, rest assured we will share it on the Maine State Grange website!
by Rod Hamel, Secretary
East Sangerville Grange #177
I’d like to provide a little update on what the “Fightin’ 177” has been up to lately. Our Farmer Committee has banded together to create a round robin weeding party. On Sunday afternoons, a deserving farmer is selected and we descend on them to help catch up on some weeding. Our first stop was at Two Roads Farm in Sangerville where we helped Meg and Kyle get their snap peas in good shape and after about 3 1/2 hours we had a nice little tour to see their other crops, and meet the pigs, cows, ducks, and chickens. Last week had us at Helios Horsepower Farm in Guilford where Lizzie and Andrea set us upon the scallions. “Many hands make light work” proved true and we were through four big rows of scallions in two hours. Before we could move to the next task, we noticed Kyle from Two Roads and Ben from Shaw Road Farm both on their phones with some concerned discussion. It turned out that a Two Roads Farm escapee cow missing in the woods for a few weeks appeared in a Shaw Road Farm pasture a wreaking havoc on their fences and their grass-fed beef operation. We quickly decided to demobilize from Guilford and head to Sangerville for some cattle rustling. Our weeding party of nine people plus Ben’s dad proved a worthy adversary for the cow and after a mere 90 minutes and threats of creating some steak tartar, we had her safely eating some silage in a barn ready for transport home. We finished the evening with some burgers courtesy of Shaw Road Farm and promises to return to Helios Horsepower farm and give them their fair share of weeding. This week we will convene at Marr Pond Farm in Sangerville and see what Ryan and Courtney have in store for us! The program is really just getting started and is not just for small commercial farmers–we’re willing to help out homesteaders and woodlot owners. These weeding experiences have a side benefit because they allow our busy Grangers to get together for a bit of socializing and still get some farm work done!
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.
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!
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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