DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have been trying for at least a month to find a Christmas-spirited person who would have the financial capabilities to help a truly deserving disabled woman. She needs a ramp so her daughter and disabled son-in-law could get down some stairs, especially for her medical appointments. She is paralyzed.
It is a hope and a wish that someone seeing this will respond. Thank you. — J., Auburn
ANSWER: Sun Spots has gotten many letters like this of late. Times are so tough for so many people. But Sun Spots has no way to verify the legitimacy of private requests, so she has to limit requests to registered charities and nonprofits.
Individuals who are struggling and need help can start by visiting Community Concepts, which administers assistance programs, such as government-subsidized housing. They also offer help in emergency situations.
There are two regional offices:
* 240 Bates St., Lewiston, ME 04240, 795-4065
* 17-19 Market Square, P.O. Box 278, South Paris, ME 04281, 743-7716
And a satellite office in Wilton, which also houses Head Start and transportation offices:
* Bass-Wilson Building, 284 Main St., Wilton, ME 04294, 645-9512
Or if all of these are a toll call, please call 1-800-866-5588.
Another source of assistance is the United Way’s 211:
"2-1-1 Maine is a comprehensive statewide directory of more than 8,000 health and human services available in Maine. The toll free 2-1-1 hotline connects callers to trained call specialists who can help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Finding the answers to health and human services questions and locating resources is as quick and easy as dialing 2-1-1 or visiting www.211maine.org."
Sun Spots encourages people to take advantage of these programs. Her mother was reluctant to move into senior housing, but once she did was happy as a clam. The apartments are well-maintained and often offer amenities such as a place to gather and socialize. And another big benefit: No more worrying about how to take care of a big house or finding help with yard work.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’m wondering if there is anyone interested in a collection of 78 rpm records. The collection is in good condition. I’m not looking for money, will give away.
I also have an electric typewriter, which has never been used, to give. — No Name, Livermore Falls, 897-3706
ANSWER: There is not a lot of demand for old records, but Sun Spots does have a few places that buy them and might be glad of freebies:
* Melanie Ward, Lewiston, Melcat's Vinyl and Collectibles, 783-7447, email@example.com
* Enterprise Records, 613A Congress St., Portland, 773-7672. The owner, Bob, does the buying, so you need to talk to him.’
* The Record Connection, 254 Main St., Waterville, 873-1798. They are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
* Bill O’Neill’s House of Rock ‘n’ Roll, 840 U.S. Route 1, Saco, 283-1966. He is very selective and only buys a few.
She knows of no one who buys electric typewriters, but perhaps someone will want it for their personal use.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: We would like to donate the entire seven-season series of “Little House on the Prairie” on DVDs, preferably to domestic abuse shelters for women and children, or any shelter regarding children. I also have “I Love Lucy,” “Good Times” and “Sanford & Son.” If interested, please call 740-3950. — Newman Parent, firstname.lastname@example.org
This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to email@example.com.