We all want to make sure all our neighbors have what they need to stay healthy and safe. Any senior Scarborough resident who would benefit from a weekly check-in phone call can use this Google form to be added to the Town of Scarborough's call list (or call 730-4150 to sign up). Town Councilors and staff will make all the calls, and the Town won't share this number with any other group.
People across the country, and here at home, are putting their talents work, sewing masks. Project GRACE volunteers are collecting and distributing homemade masks. Scarborough Terrace would like masks (the kind with pockets for filters). If you'd like to help, let us know!
>>You can drop off your masks at Scarborough Terrace, or mail them to Project GRACE at PO Box 6846, Scarborough ME 04070, or contact us.
We are grateful to Public Works who earlier this week helped us move dozens of Hannaford Helps food boxes and juice from the pantry to Wentworth for the ‘backpack’ program providing food to families.(PG added some hand soap, too.)
If you are worried about feeding your kids, email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message for School Nutrition at 730-4700. Also, area food pantries including Scarborough’s are remaining open, and are following health experts' advice on taking precautions. Visitors will be asked to stay in the parking lot, and will be served curbside.
There is plenty of food available for now, thanks to everyone who donated a Hannaford box at the holidays or gave food and money. We will keep you posted on needs as they arise. >>Food for Thought & Action Update 3/18.
There have already been a lot of offers of help coming our way, and some requests for help, too. We've set up a network to manage offers and requests. We'll get through this together!
Governor Mills, Maine Legislature Approve Unemployment for Displaced Workers >> WCSH 17.March
Governor Mills has introduced, and on March 17 the Legislature passed, emergency unemployment legislation that temporarily extends eligibility to unemployment to workers that have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.>>MORE @ DOL
Maine PUC Temporarily Stops Utility Disconnects >>WMTW 16.March
The Maine Public Utilities Commission has ordered all utility disconnections be halted until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak.The emergency moratorium covers electric, natural gas, water and phone service. >>MORE @ PUC
IRS Extends Tax Filing Deadlines >> 18.March
All individual and other non-corporate tax filers may defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. Corporate taxpayers are allowed a similar deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments that would be due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. “Americans should file their tax returns by April 15 because many will receive a refund...” said Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.
Project GRACE is committed to the health and well-being of our community, volunteers, and neighbors; and to continuing to provide needed and timely services to our neighbors.
We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and following the recommendations of experts at local, state and federal levels on the best course of action. We are also listening to our colleagues in the business and nonprofit sectors, partner organizations, and community leaders so we can follow best practices as the situation develops. We are also posting information about resources and what we're doing to help our neighbors >> here.
It is key we all stay calm and understand and follow the recommendations from health experts and town and state government. We think this image helps explain the social distancing strategy that will help our communities slow the spread of the virus, allowing our healthcare systems be able to take care of patients.
Social distancing is not social isolation: stay connected with your loved ones, friends, and neighbors, but keep some physical distance (3' to 6' feet are the current recommendations).It’s essential to the whole community to keep both yourself and other people as safe as possible. Speak on the phone, video chat, email, text, use social media, or send letters or cards to offer support. Practice patience and empathy, smile, and wave, give a compliment or encouragement. And if you must meet in person, to drop off shopping for example, avoid all physical contact, and always wash your hands thoroughly or use sanitizer before and after. Stay home if you or anyone you live with is unwell. Someone's life could depend on it.
To protect the health of our community, we are postponing indefinitely the annual Jr Trivia Bee that was scheduled to be held April 14th at Wentworth School. Thank you for understanding.
We are practicing the CDC recommendations on social distancing, and cancelling or postponing smaller meetings, too.
On Thursday, March 12, Governor Mills and the Maine CDC Director announced that Maine has identified its first presumptive positive case of COVID-19. Visit the Maine CDC page for the latest guidance and information here and the US CDC here. Additionally, 211 Maine is now available to answer general questions about COVID-19.
To protect the health of our community, and in light of recommendations from the CDC during the COVID-19 health situation, this event has been postponed until further notice. We will update you with plans for a future event. Thank you for understanding.
Are you, your family, and pets prepared for a long-term power outage, the impacts of a severe snow or ice storm, major hurricane, flooding, or other extended emergency?
One or two days without electricity and heat may be manageable, but what about extended periods and/or if you need to evacuate to a shelter? Learn greater self-sufficiency for the days after an extended and/or area-wide emergency. Topics include: assembling an emergency preparedness kit; creating a family emergency and communication plan; overview of issues related to food, water, lighting, heat, health and hygiene; prevention and mitigation strategies you can do at home to protect household members, valuables and important documents; and info on community resources and shelters. Class located in a designated shelter space to facilitate questions about how to prepare your family and pets for a shelter stay, should that become necessary.
Presented as a collaboration of the Scarborough Fire Department, Scarborough Public Library, and Scarborough Adult Learning Center. Tues, 3/17/2020, 6:30 to 8:00 pm, Scarborough High School cafeteria. FREE, no registration required. Facilitators: Scarborough Fire Chief and EMA Director, Michael Thurlow and Nancy Crowell, Director of Scarborough Public Library
With a messy winter storm on our doorsteps, we know, no matter what Punxsutawney Phil might say, an early spring is still a long way away. The other thing we can say with certainty: Scarborough knows how to come together for common cause, we know how to extend a helping hand, and when it counts we show up.
Our town’s 8th Annual Keeping Our Neighbors Warm Fuel Rally at the Oak Hill Firehouse, is just such an occasion when we all show up. The Fire, Police, Community Services and Library pitch in to help Project GRACE host the Rally. The clerk’s office gives out clynk bags for the fund, too. The Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary, and several others doing good all year long are at the Rally, too. From 10-Noon on Saturday, there will be a bake sale, raffles, uplifting performance by State Street Jazz musicians, activities for kids and safety demos for everyone.
In a typical winter Project GRACE helps with fuel assistance about 65 times, and even with generous discounts from friends like Conroy’s, our fuel bill can quickly climb to $25,000 or more in a single season. Local philanthropist, Eddie Woodin, helped establish the Fuel Fund more than 10 years ago. Over the years we’ve raised about $150,000 for fuel assistance, about half of that generously donated during the Rallies.
It really doesn't matter how low the temperatures drop or what the price of oil or propane or firewood is: many of our neighbors have a hard time putting food on the table every month, paying for medicines, covering the rent and basic bills. For anyone living on small fixed retirement incomes, or coping with chronic illnesses, or work in low-paying or seasonal jobs, there are difficult choices to make every month. Many can't make ends meet, no matter how carefully they budget. One senior told us, “honey, I cheated the thermostat. I put it up to 58 degrees.” Yup. Up to 58 degrees!
It is with reluctance that our neighbors set aside their pride and make the difficult call to ask us for help. But thanks to the continued partnership with the Town, and the generosity of too many to name here, we can lend a hand. We won’t leave anyone in the cold.
FUEL FUND by the NUMBERS
$182,000 spent on fuel assistance* since 2011
$159,000 fuel assistance donations raised since 2011
$81,000 raised by 7 Fuel Rallies since 2013
2020 is 8th Annual Fuel Rally: goal is to hit $10,000 in donations in 2 hours
443 households receiving fuel assistance 2011-2019 (470+ including 2020 season)
On average, 65 helps a season.
87% of households receive only one help a season
$12,500 (8% of funds raised) spent on weatherization projects
2020 Fuel Fund donations as of January 15: $3,821
2020 Fuel Expenses as of January 15: $7,195
Special gifts to make the holidays brighter for kids!
You can be matched to a specific family for a child's needs and wants for the holiday, or you can host a giving tree or make a monetary gift to sponsor a child's holiday. For giving trees, we can provide tags, or you can make your own. Items needed include: new toys and family games, arts & crafts supplies for all ages and abilities, learning toys, new dish towels and cooking utensils, snow pants, hats & mittens, new warm socks for boys and girls, soaps and shampoos, fleece 'throw' blankets, fleece vests and pullovers, energy saving LED lightbulbs, and more...
Gifts for specific families/children are needed by Monday, December 16th. We will try to give you a wish list as soon as possible... but requests sometimes are incomplete or come in later.
Check out the giving trees all around town! If you're hosting a tree for us, or another group, send us a pic or visit us on FaceBook - we'd love to share it!
Project GRACE giving tree locations include:
Big 20 Bowling (toys)
Oasis Chiropractic Family Wellness Center (gift cards)
Inn By The Sea (hats, mittens & gloves, toys)
Piper Shores (toys)
St Maximilian-Kolbe Church (variety of items)
Tags include: new toys and family games, arts & crafts supplies for all ages and abilities, learning toys, new dish towels and cooking utensils, snow pants, hats & mittens, new warm socks for boys and girls, soaps and shampoos, twin bed sheet sets, fleece 'throw' blankets, fleece vests and pullovers, energy saving LED lightbulbs, and more...
Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you got plenty of pie, turkey and all the rest! More than 400 of our neighbors, family, and friends gathered together for the 4th Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner. Chef Peter Esposito and his crew cooked up a delicious meal featuring 65 roast turkeys, plus 150 lbs of potatoes, 100 lbs squash, 120 lbs stuffing, 100 lbs cranberry sauce, and volunteers baked dozens of pies, too. We are grateful to all the volunteers, sponsors, and especially to all who shared the holiday with us. You can see more pictures here: http://www.thanksgivingscarborough.org/pictures.html
We also gave away some Thanksgiving Dinner Baskets, and want to thank everyone who contributed, including local Girl Scouts, Scarborough HS Football Team, VIPs, St Max, and all the neighbors who made up a festive holiday meal.
COmmunity Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving Day, Thursday Nov. 28
All Are Welcome! Please Come!
Thank you, Neighbors! >>LIST
The Community Dinner is hosted by Project GRACE, Community Services, and Scarborough Nutrition. But we couldn't do it without the many helping hands along the way. We are thankful for all our volunteers, hosts, and sponsors. It takes many hands to make light work, and it's how this dinner comes together every year.
Delicious goodness, that's what's in a holiday meal basket! There are the fixings for a traditional holiday meal plus a modest grocery gift card to get a turkey, or other fresh items. There may also be extra touches like a pack of festive napkins or paper plates, a fresh pie or treat for the kids, rolls or bread, roasting pan or aluminum foil. Some baskets also have the fixings for another meal or two over the holiday weekend: pancake mix and syrup, pasta and sauce, soups and peanut butter. We also hope for fresh items like oranges, apples, bananas or potatoes, carrots, celery, squash, onions, and green beans.
Baskets are needed by Monday, November 25th.
Winter and those colder temperatures are coming. Now's the time to get ready to save fuel and funds. Have you tried any of these easy and inexpensive fixes? Got any other ideas for us?
The first day of school looms large in a child's life, and we all want to see kids head back to school with a smile and ready to learn. Which is why Project GRACE and its partners come together in the waning days of summer to help families who might otherwise go without. This year we gave away a whopping 190 school backpacks!! We are very thankful for all who volunteered their time, brought in a full pack, gave supplies, sponsored a child's backpack, or hosted a collection drive or drop-off site. We also wanted to offer a special thank you to Abbott, Scarborough Dems, and Landry/French who contributed dozens and dozens of full packs, and to our friends at Scarborough Public Library, Katahdin Trust, cPort Credit Union, Gorham Savings Bank, Biddeford Savings who graciously received so many donations on our behalf. And to Staples who featured us in their back to school drive, too! Also a very hearty thank you to St. Max for inviting us to use their hall. Thank you, one and all.
Each and every backpack gave a child a fresh start to the new school year. We are grateful, and so are the parents and kids. One parent told us, the packs 'had everything they needed, and more" and a mom said, "I can't tell you how thankful we are; as a single parent, I couldn't have done this myself." And another said, “A backpack is simple but yet makes my heart happy that they got one with all they need, and the choices were great and well packed. The ease of getting them without feeling like a loser as a parent was good too. The volunteers were very friendly and as excited as I to give the bags. Thank you.”
We have exciting news: Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial will match up to $2,500 in Bee sponsorships! WOW! Can you help us earn this challenge gift?!! Please consider becoming a sponsor at any level. Proceeds from this marquis event help us keep our neighbors warm, feed hungry families, and lend a hand to a neighbor going through a temporary rough patch. (Click to download sponsor info.)
Each summer, local children from low-income families can go to area day camps through stipends made possible by charitable gifts to Project GRACE. We in turn give that money to area camps, including a $2,500 gift to Scarborough Community Services.
We make that investment because at camp, children are in an environment that fosters belonging, acceptance, independence and relationships. This experience not only develops social skills, self-esteem and emotional intelligence, it builds future leaders. And kids get healthy meals and snacks to help keep them on track.
Kids will be heading back to school soon, but many families will struggle to provide the basics like backpacks, notebooks, paper, pens and pencils, rulers and glue sticks. With your help, we can ensure all kids start the first day of school ready to learn, prepared to succeed.
Easy as 1, 2,3 -- you can help a child start the school year prepared to succeed:
Drop off Locations
Scarborough Public Library
cPort Credit Union
Gorham Savings Bank
St Max Church (Monday, August 19th, 4-6 pm)
SUMMERFEST! FIREWORKS! FUN!
Friday, August 16th (5-10 pm)
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
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