Friday, December 4, 2020

Year-round charitable giving more important than ever during holidays

Collette Gagnon, Social Service Administrative
Assistant at the Windham Food Pantry, accepts
a Thanksgiving check from the Lake Region
Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) in the amount
of $885. In December, the organization will
sponsor students at the Katahdin program for
Christmas. Each student will be given presents
off their request list, approved by the school,
totaling $50. SUBMITTED PHOTO    
By Lorraine Glowczak

Whether it is toys, turkeys or time - there is something about the holidays that motivates us to give of ourselves and be there for those who face many struggles. It matters not if it is karma or being of service that innately motivates humans, the fact is – the holiday ignites the need to serve.

For some organizations, the inspiration to offer necessary life sustaining gifts 365 days a year is a part of their everyday mission and purpose.

It is true that there are a many individuals and establishments give all year and those works go unseen and there are those who prefer no recognition.

However, other organizations rely on community support to provide the much-needed services they provide to families and individuals all year long.

These groups that work quietly behind the scenes include St. Ann’s Essential Pantry, Lakes Region Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Windham and Raymond Food Pantries.

St. Ann’s Essential Pantry

For approximately five years, St. Ann’s Episcopal Church at 40 Windham Center Road in Windham, has been serving families by providing personal and household items that cannot be purchased by an EBT debit card. The pantry also provides commodities that are not available at local food pantries.

“We provide personal hygiene and cleaning products that are acceptable to donate and are not provided by local food pantries, like liquid laundry detergents and liquid deodorants,” Deacon Wendy Rozene, of St. Ann’s said. “Toilet paper is essential, especially now during the pandemic when it is cleared off the shelves. Hand lotion is another needed item now that people are washing their hands and using hand sanitizer more frequently.”

Other much needed items include: Shampoos, conditioners, bars of soap, stick deodorant, paper towels and hand lotion to name just a few important everyday items. Toothpaste and toothbrushes, although an abundant item at the moment are still being accepted and will be put to use.

The pantry, which serves over 100 families, with about 25 to 30 being served at a given time, is open the last Saturday of every month from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. During non-pandemic times, families and individuals were able to select the items they needed in the lower level of the church; however, the pantry has made special accommodations to adhere to Maine CDC guidelines.

“We now bag items separately and have them prepared as people drive up to the door, remain in their car with masks on and we put the bags in the trunk of the vehicle,” Rozene said. 

The pantry is open to all people from Windham, Raymond, Casco, Standish and the lakes region. The
first time they come they need proof of residency such as a CMP bill with their name and address on it. That is all that is required.

Rozene said that the Essentials Pantry collaborates with both the Windham Food Pantry and Faith Lutheran Church, also of Windham which helps keep the pantry stocked and running.

“There are times we have a lot of food donated to us which we can’t easily store,” Rozene said. “So, we give some of that to the Windham Food Pantry and the toiletry items they can’t give out, they give to us. It is a win-win situation.”

Rozene also said that Faith Lutheran Church, at 988 Roosevelt Trail, has been contributing monthly stipends and volunteers for the past couple of years.

“It is important to mention that we’ve have received generous financial donations as well as workers from Faith Lutheran Church to help us distribute the much-needed items each month. We do appreciate their contributions,” Rozene said.

Food, essential items and monetary donations can be made in person or sent via snail mail to: St. Ann’s Essential Pantry, 40 Windham Center Road in Windham. If delivered in person, the office is open Monday through Thursday from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Lakes Region Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) #4352

Located at 456 Roosevelt Trail location, FOE #4252 is a part of an international, non-profit organization that was established in Seattle, WA in 1898 to “unite in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice and equality. To make human life more desirable by lessening its ills and promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope.” The mission is to serve others, as often as possible, all year long.

FOE #4352 is exceptionally motivated to do what they can to provide help for those in need throughout the Lakes Region. Although they provide help in many ways to individuals and organizations all year round, the holiday season is a perfect time to introduce the community to FOE #4352 as well as promoting the importance of giving year-round.

The organization gives a monthly financial donation to local food pantries and they made their Thanksgiving donation of $885 to the Windham Food Pantry on Monday, Nov. 23. Even though it is a season of giving, the trip to the food pantry is a way to ceremonially show their appreciation by presenting their check in person.

But their deeds for the holiday season are not quite complete.

“Although The Eagles will continue their monthly donation to the pantry in December, we will also be sponsoring all the students at the Katahdin program for Christmas,” FOE #4352 President Frank Farinelli said. “Each student will be given presents off their request list totaling $50. We are also collecting food and winter clothing for programs at the high school.”

Although FOE #4352 is a membership-based organization that raises funds and distributes their gifts privately, they welcome financial donations from the public, of which 100% is distributed toward their gift giving efforts.

To assist FOE #4352 in their efforts or to learn more about the organization, contact Frank Farinelli by email at or by phone at 207-310-4197.

To learn more about the Katahdin Program, an alternative educational curriculum located at 406 Gray Road in Windham, contact Program Director, Craig Haims at (207) 893-7377.

The Windham and Raymond Food Pantries

The Raymond Food Pantry, 1273 Roosevelt Trail in Raymond, is located in the building of the Lake Region Baptist Church. They are open the second and fourth Thursday of every month from 4 to 6 p.m. The return of banana boxes, used to carry food with, will help to keep costs down. For more information, contact the pantry at 207-310-1419.

The Windham Food Pantry, located at 377 Gray Road in Windham, is open to Windham residents with proof of residency. Residents are provided with food on a monthly basis and are asked to call and schedule an appointment. Food and non-food donations are accepted Monday - Thursday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monetary donations are accepted 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays at the Town Manager's Office or by mail at 8 School Road, Windham. <

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your Comments Help Improve Your Community.