April 21, 2018
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Mainers offer to help Haitians in myriad ways

By Joni Averill

Mainers are quick to help neighbors in need, whether those “neighbors” are nearby or far away.

Individuals and organizations have been exceedingly forthcoming with support for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti, and continue to be so.

For example, Della Gleason and members of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church invite you to their Celtic Festival at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 6, at the church on the corner of Holyoke and North Main Streets in Brewer.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under, and all proceeds benefit Episcopal Relief Work in Haiti.

The festival includes Irish step dancing with the St. Patrick’s Arts Royale Irish Dancers, Celtic singing and bagpiping and a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner.

To purchase advance tickets or to receive more information, call 945-3838.


A few days after that tragedy in Haiti, my old friend, Win Stevens of the Bangor law firm Rudman and Winchell, called to tell me how impressed he was “with the generosity of staff and attorneys” who participated in a dress-down day for Haiti relief.

Rudman and Winchell staff member Cheryl Patterson told me the event raised $1,100, which the firm donated to the American Red Cross for Haiti relief.


Even youngsters have done what they can to help.

Fifth-grader Raleigh Toussaint, a 10-year-old who lives in Madawaska, “was distraught over images” she saw on television after the earthquake, her mother, Maria Toussaint, wrote, adding that Raleigh “wanted to do something” for the quake victims.

With her mother’s help, Raleigh and several fellow fifth-graders conducted a bottle drive “on Saturday, January 30, in 5-degree weather,” Maria Toussaint explained.

Taking only a lunch break during that time, Raleigh, Gabriella Cyr, Ellie Legasse, Alyssa Mathieu, Kathryn Bosse and Sara Lagasse collected enough bottles to raise $735 for the quake victims in Haiti.

Raleigh recently presented their check to Benjamin Zetterman, community programs coordinator for the Aroostook County Branch of the American Red Cross.


Danette Ellis e-mailed that “Aid for Kids, formerly known as The Degenhardt Foundation,” is inviting others “to partner with us to send much-needed aid to Haiti.

“Because of the high number of new amputees … the people of Haiti are in dire need of crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, dressings, medical tape, sterile gloves, gauze and other medical supplies,” Ellis explained.

Aid for Kids, which she describes as “a Houlton-based nonprofit agency dedicated to helping children both here at home and around the globe,” will be collecting supplies to be “shipped to Haiti by Partners for World Health.”

Supplies can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays at York’s of Houlton, 315 North St., and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday at Polaris Cable, 34 Military St., Houlton.

In addition to medical supplies, Aid for Kids will be accepting donations to purchase Shelter Boxes for Haiti, Ellis wrote.

“Shelter Box, an affiliate of Rotary International, is a disaster relief charity that provides emergency shelters,” she wrote.

Shelter Boxes cost $1,000 and, in addition to a 10-person tent, include such items as blankets, a stove and supplies for children.

For more information about Shelter Boxes, visit www.shelterboxusa.org.

Donations can be sent to Aid for Kids, 18 Market Square, Houlton 04730.

Checks should be made payable to Aid for Kids, with Haiti Relief on the memo line.

Aid for Kids “is a fully tax-deductible charitable organization,” Ellis wrote, and more information about the organization is available by calling 532-4107 or 532-7584 or visiting www.aidforkids.org.


And from Mary Doyle of West Newfield comes this information.

Doyle wrote her family has formed a nonprofit, statewide group, Maine Friends of Haiti.

“The purpose of the group is to offer Mainers an overview and directory of all the projects and events taking place throughout the entire Maine area that have been set up to help Haiti,” Doyle wrote.

“Maine Friends of Haiti welcomes all individuals from different locations, backgrounds, and beliefs, to participate in sharing information about their work in assisting Haiti.

“Individuals, places of worship, businesses, clubs, civic organizations, etc., are invited to participate in Maine Friends of Haiti,” she wrote.

You can learn more by visiting www.mainefriendsofhaiti.org, as I have done and found to be very informative; visit the Maine Friends of Haiti group page on Facebook, call Doyle at 793-2759 or e-mail mqdoyle@gmail.com.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; javerill@bangordailynews.net; 990-8288.

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