PARIS – Employees at Maine Veterans’ Home in Paris have been busy with projects to help individuals in the community during the holiday season. Ideas were being made on what to plan, when one staff member suggested replacing the usual Christmas party and gift swap with a project to help someone have an enjoyable holiday.

Soon various departments at the 90-bed facility were forfeiting party funds. A plastic snowman was placed in a conspicuous spot, and money started accumulating. Soon there was more than $700.

The group decided to help a former employee’s family while he is stationed in Iraq and a family with four children. Soon, toys, books and clothing was being given to help the family of six.

Glenn Bangs, a former staff nurse at the facility, was deployed to Iraq in the fall and isn’t due back until next October. His wife, Julie, and three daughters are in the community.

“It is difficult having Glenn so far away during the holidays, but the kindness shown to all of us is astounding,” said Julie. “This huge act of kindness has certainly made a huge difference in our holiday season.”

The result far surpassed what the employees predicted. Several gifts were sent to Bangs in Iraq and a shopping card was given to his wife. The second project produced four large boxes, each the appropriate toys and clothing for each child. In addition, gift certificates for fuel oil and groceries were presented. Some employees wrapped items for the parents.

Employees held potluck lunches or dinners at their own expense. Megan Curtis said, “I think we have had more fun with this project that we ever would have by just doing something for ourselves.

One never feels better than when we are doing something kind for other people. This really has been a super holiday season!”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.