Seniors in Brewer give to food, heat causes

Posted Dec. 25, 2008, at 8:05 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — Residents at the Ellen M. Leach Memorial Home reach into their pockets each December to help people they probably will never meet.

“Instead of exchanging little gifts between each other, they prefer to make donations to low-income families to help them with [heating] fuel and food,” Dorothy “Betty” Igoe, executive director, said last Friday. “I think it’s just wonderful. They care about others.”

The collected funds are sent to the city and then divided between the Brewer Community Service Council, which provides holiday food baskets to needy Brewer residents, and the Brewer Christian Food Cupboard, which helps to feed area residents.

Any leftover funds are sent to The Salvation Army in Bangor to assist those who need funds to heat their homes, said Nat Perry, Brewer’s director of health and human services.

Most of the residents at the Leach Home make a donation, Igoe said.

“They feel like giving to others because they feel fortunate to live here,” she said. “They like to give back a little bit.”

By last Friday, she had collected $120, “but I’ll have a lot more than that. We have 99 people who live here and I’ve only got about 10 percent. Most are giving $10.”

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