LEWISTON – Matt Lavoie and Branden Staples carried 50 hand-tied fleece blankets into the Catholic Charities Maine SEARCH office in late October.

Over the past few years, the “blanket project” at the Long Creek Youth Development Center has grown considerably, with adult volunteers teaching interested residents how to make them. The youth decide where the blankets will go.

“This year they have chosen the Lewiston/Auburn area because several of the boys are from that area. They have been making these blankets in order to learn the meaning of restorative justice and to see firsthand how their contribution could touch people’s lives,” said Maria Dorn, chief of volunteer services at the center.

Phoebe Lowell, SEARCH program manager, expressed thanks for the blanket delivery. “You will bring smiles and warmth to many of the elderly people in our program,” she said.

SEARCH stands for Seek Elderly Alone, Renew Courage and Hope. Its mission is to enable frail, vulnerable elderly and those with disabilities to remain independent and in their own homes for as long as possible.

SEARCH is looking for interested persons of all ages and religious denominations who would like to be a friendly telephone caller, visitor or part-time helper for an elderly person in Androscoggin County.

For more information about becoming a short-term or longer-term SEARCH volunteer or to refer someone as a client, call the program office at 784-0157.

Financial donations from individuals, businesses and civic groups are always encouraged and may be sent to SEARCH, 15 Westminster St., Lewiston, ME 04240.

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