April 06, 2020

WABI-TV reactivates Good Neighbor Fund

When there was a shortage of federal funds to help people pay their heating costs two years ago, WABI-TV (Channel 5) in Bangor established the Good Neighbor Fund to raise money for people in need who might not qualify for certain aid programs.

WABI-TV news director Don Colson has announced the reopening of that fund in the wake of the Ice Storm of ’98, and the station hopes neighbors who can help neighbors will do so.

“We know there are some people who won’t meet the criteria of bigger or more established funds, but still have a genuine need,” Colson said.

With unexpected storm-related costs, many people are applying for aid but some may not get it. Hopefully, this fund will fill in the gaps.

Colson said the Good Neighbor Fund will be administered by Penquis Community Action Program, the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, the Washington-Hancock Community Action Program and the Knox-Waldo Committee for Social Action.

And Colson wants to be perfectly clear how the fund will be used.

“All the money will be divided among these agencies,” he said, “and not a single penny will be spent on adminstration.”

It was two years ago when Colson first called to ask our help in spreading the word about the program his station was establishing. We heard him announce its reactivitation Monday evening and discovered a message from him the next day.

“You know I only call when I need help,” he said. We’re always glad he does.

In this column two years ago, Colson said he saw his station as having “this big megaphone out there, and we’re trying, as a news department, to use it to help out in situations like this.”

Colson said at the time that the agencies would share the money equally to help those who could not be helped by conventional means.

“It could be $50 for a young family with no money whose car breaks down, or $50 for someone to buy a barrel of oil. There are no real specifications, but experts will administer the fund and give it to people they think need it.”

With money that might have gone for food being spent on portable lamps, batteries and water buckets, or hundreds of unplanned dollars spent on generators to keep homes warm, people throughout WABI-TV’s coverage area are finding their finances quite disrupted, which is why the Good Neighbor Fund is back.

If you can help those in need who don’t quite meet the guidelines for aid elsewhere, please send your check to the Good Neighbor Fund, P.O. Box 1162, Bangor, 04402.

If you happen to visit City Limits Restaurant on Main Street in Bangor to get over cabin fever and wonder what the canister is that restaurant owners Henry and Donna Bray have set out, it is to help their dishwasher, John Mullen, defray expenses for his beloved cat, Alex.

Alex was hit by a car last week, and after trying all measures to save the cat, staff at the Brewer Veterinary Clinic had to put the animal down. The bill for services amounts to nearly $230, a stiff and unexpected expense for John, so Henry Bray made the first canister contribution to help his dishwasher meet that bill.

If you’d like to help, checks should be made out to the Brewer Veterinary Clinic for Alex.

Rick and Nancy Pare own Main View Apartments in Orono. During the ice storm, an 82-year-old tenant lost her parakeet.

The Pares write that “she has no relatives, and that bird meant the world to her.

“She is on a fixed income and cannot afford to purchase another one.

“Would anyone know where she might be able to obtain one for free?”

The Pares know their tenant “would be very thankful.” If you know of a parakeet that needs a new home, call the Pares at 866-5651 or write them at 95 Main St., Orono, 04473.

A new thrift shop is opening in Brewer.

The Hope House Thrift Shop celebrates its grand opening from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at 431 South Main St., next to the former Epstein’s building.

Described by its organizers as a “really neat place for second-opportunity clothing” and “take me to my new house” domestic items, staff wants you to know that by visiting their new shop you may find some real bargains and you’ll be helping others at the same time.

And if you’re looking for a place to donate items, drop them there at Hope House on Indian Avenue in Bangor, or call 941-2814 or 941-2806 and they will be picked up for you.

All proceeds from the shop benefit the Hope House mission, which is providing substance abuse treatment programs that foster independence.

Beth Thieme, president of the Winterport Business Association, expresses her gratitude to all who helped make the town’s 30th Christmas Nativity Pageant a success.

She considers the effort “an excellent example of the abundant community spirit tht exists in Winterport,” especially this year when “many extra tasks were necessary” such as making new costumes.

Thieme knows community support assures “the pageant’s continuation for many years to come.”

The Standpipe, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; 990-8288.

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