Dear Sun Spots: I have been sending my old, used greeting cards to St. Jude. I called them today and they are not receiving them any more. They are so overloaded with them that they do not forsee a time when they will be accepting them again. They are trying to get the word out to people, and I offered to call our paper to let them know in this area. St. Jude’s has to recycle them and the woman I spoke with says it’s a waste of our postage. Also, the lady in Auburn is not receiving them any more. – F.C., Dixfield.

Answer: You and other readers are in for a treat and a half!

Sun Spots had the pleasure of talking with Diane Doe, director of the SHAREcenter program here in Auburn. Not only would she be delighted to accept used greeting cards, but it sounds like quite the adventure for adults, teachers and children alike. Sun Spots is definitely checking this out with her wee one and would encourage you to also, especially once the winter truly sets in.

Doe describes a free treasure trove for local teachers as well as inexpensive items that children and adults can use for creative crafts, education and more. Businesses and others donate materials, data products, scraps, fabrics, samples and more. Teachers come in for supplies, office supplies, art paper, fabric, leather, widgets. Children and nonprofit groups come in and make items from the plethora of donated items. It seems the possibilities are endless, if you’ve got the imagination. Doe shared a wonderful story about a special needs student she worked with recently. The pupil was having difficulty counting to 20. Doe and the student worked with a 10-slot tray placing two items in each of the 10 holes. By the time they were done he had counted to 20 in twos!

If you are interested in volunteering, Doe would love to hear from you. Volunteers may work different hours than the opening hours and are needed for office, clerical, filing, typing, etc., as well as for stocking shelves, picking up materials at businesses, as well as making samples crafts and more so others can visualize what they could create. Anyone with carpentry skills to create shelving and storage units is always welcome. Doe also hopes for a volunteer coordinator to keep the wheels oiled.

The center also needs donations: dictionaries and any books in a foreign language such as Spanish, French and others. The center also welcomes partially finished projects and beads and buttons which are at a premium.

When not making crafts and more, the general public can check out The Green Zone which is a shopping spot known as the pay-as-you-go program. Items are very inexpensive here and well worth browsing through.

To mail your greeting cards, send to the SHAREcenter program, P.O. Box 800, Auburn, ME 04212-0800. If delivering, please call Diane at 795-0972, first to ensure somebody will be on site to accept your donations. The center is located on Academy Street in Auburn, in the Great Falls Performing Arts Center. You may enter on the Academy Street side. They are open 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and from 9 a.m. to noon the first and second Saturdays of each month. Closed school vacations, Auburn school snow days, holiday weekends typically, it’s best to call first.

The Topsham site is open from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday on Republic Avenue, near the Commissary, building 376. There is no phone available in Topsham.

Another, site for your greeting cards would be the Reuse room at Lake County Solid Waste Management District. Please mark it to the attention of Nichole Barksdale, 2405 Calumet Ave., Hammond, IN 46327. The cards are used to help teach kids about recyling. It is a free service to the public. You are welcome to e-mail them at [email protected]

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