April 01, 2020

Your article (BDN, Jan. 15) regarding the handling of the residents of Bayview Manor on Friday (Jan. 9) does a very grave disservice to MBNA. Your article implies that a busload of elderly residents arrived at MBNA and your headline states states taht “MBNA turned them away.” This is simply not the truth. MBNA was asked by the Red Cross at 11 a.m. on Friday morning if they could help because the Emergency Management Agency headquarters were not big enough to deal with the numbers of people who were arriving. They agreed, and by 12:15 p.m. they weze moving people in their own buses from the EMA headquarters into a section of thier new building that was having the last carpet tiles laid down that morning. Not only did MBNA open thier facility on a moment’s notice, but dozens of thier employees, as well as their families, volunteered to help out.

The decision by the Emergency management Agency and the Red Cross was that MBNA wqould not be used for medically needy people since it was not ready to handle them Friday. Under the circumstances, it was decided to refer any medically needy people to local hospitals.

I think MBNA is owed an apology. Nor only did it open its facility to help, and is still doing so, its employees have volunteered innumeable hours in the shelter since it opened. The company is using its catering service to feed the residents, it is providing laundry services, arranging transportation to shower faclities and toys and games for the children. It has flown up four nurses from Delware to deal with health issues and worked with PenBay and Waldo County General Hospital for additional medical support if it is needed.

It is through the generosity and community spirit of companies like MBNA that the Red Cross and other volunteer organizations can do their job. During the past 10 days, there have been countless acts of kindness, and neighbor helping neighbor throughout the storm-rvavaged areas. The true character of Mainers has really shown forth in very difficult times. It is not over yet. There are still many in need of help with no light and heat. To slam those who try to help may make catchy headlines, but it is bad journalism. Peter Blyberg Chairman of the board American Red Cross Eastern Maine Chapter Ellsworth

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