The Basket Lady
In the Good Humor Town, people are helping people by the basket loads.
Sometimes, it’s people from another county offering their help and support but in any case, it’s about community.
A true story. Last year, Connie Jones, SeniorsPlus educator for Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford Counties contacted Patty Duguay at the River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition in Rumford to let her know about a free program that Seniors Plus offers where such businesses as L.L. Bean donates new and gently worn winter coats for seniors.
Connie wanted to know if there was a need in our community and if so, who would be a good resource for distributing the donated coats. Patty Duguay contacted the Basket Lady right away.
This year, Patty Marsh, Community Advocate at SeniorsPlus in the Lewiston office, called me a few days before Christmas and asked me to make my way down to her office because several rooms lined with tables stacked high with all kinds of winter coats were ready for the taking.
All I needed to do was to drive to Lewiston to pick them up but several things had to happen first in order to get the coats donated. Someone had to “give” an inordinate amount of their time to organize such an endeavor.
Businesses from various towns had to be contacted about donating winter coats for seniors and they needed to buy into, no pun intended, the rationale for their donations. Plus, all of the donated coats would need to be dry cleaned.
A bighearted Lewiston Dry Cleaners answered the call to treat and clean all of the donated coats without cost. Imagine that dry cleaning bill!
After all that, the good folks at SeniorsPlus needed to contact agencies and individuals to distribute the coats to senior citizens throughout the tri-county areas.
Patty Marsh and I loaded up ten extra large tote bags filled with winter coats and jackets- the ole truck was weighed down. To date, Basket Lady has dropped off winter coats for seniors at: The Beacon House, Muskie Building Senior Center, What Not Shop, Free Shop and SeniorsPlus Dining Room on Congress Street.
A lot of good things happen when everyone works together for the benefit of others. Maine people do it all the time in their respective communities and what’s the “it” that I’m referring to?
The spirit of goodwill united with kindness strengthens a community.
If you are a senior in need of support, a coat, meals-on- wheels or guidance through the Medicare maze please call: 2-1-1 for more information on human services or to get the number to a SeniorsPlus office, just call 2-1-1.
Reminder: Get a basket. Give a basket. Go with the universal flow of abundance.
Kindness not only counts but it adds up!
We miss you everyday, Dot Sanchas! Until then, smile and live in the present.