DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am a Korean veteran and belong to many veterans clubs and other social clubs in my area.

I get mailings and much more from veterans groups. What am I obligated to do with them? I get cards, calendars, labels and much more stuff.

If I don’t respond, they send follow-up letters to remind me that no payment has been received by them.

I’m sure veterans and many other club members receive the same material. What is the proper way to correct this problem and make them all happy?

— John Kezal, Rumford

ANSWER: While some of these mailings may very well be from legitimate veterans group, some of them may be solicitations from for-profit groups that pose as veterans group. It’s very hard to tell the difference.

You are under no obligation to respond, or to pay for anything you didn’t order. Consider these things gifts.

So, enjoy the calendars. Use the labels. Mail the cards. But, don’t pay the bill. Drop that in the trash.

You’re probably getting so many “gifts” because you once paid one of these bills, and then that sender sold your name and address to a direct mail broker. That broker then sold your name and address to others, resulting in an avalanche of mail from groups that believe you are willing to pay.

You can get your name removed from charitable mailing lists by writing to: Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Safe Voices, the domestic violence resource center for Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties, has a few spots left for our next volunteer helpline training, which starts on June 12.

The Safe Voices helpline is usually the first contact a person makes with Safe Voices when they are looking for support and services around domestic violence. Helpline workers provide support and advocacy to survivors of domestic violence, assist in safety planning, and help to identify additional community resources as needed, with support from Safe Voices staff.

Our helpline is free, confidential, and runs for 24 hours. Volunteers work from home using their own phones and generally cover the helpline for approximately 8-12 hours per month based on their availability and the needs of our helpline coverage.

Interested volunteers must be at least 18 years of age, possess a landline or cell phone with good reception, should be sensitive to domestic violence situations, understand and be able to set clear boundaries, practice good self-care, be dependable, and have good listening and communication skills.

The summer training schedule is: June 12, 13 and 14, 5-8 p.m.; June 17, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; June 19, 20 and 21, 5-8 p.m.

All classes are held in the Lewiston/Auburn area (exact location will be given upon enrollment).

To apply to participate in the Safe Voices helpline training, please email a current resume to Kelly Wasson, administrative and marketing manager, at [email protected]

If you have any questions about Safe Voices or this training, you can email Kelly Wasson or call 795-6744.

Use the QR code to go to Sun Spots online for additional information and links. 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 be emailed to [email protected], tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Spots Facebook page at facebook.com/SunJournalSunSpots. This column can also be read online at sunjournal.com/sunspots. We’ve joined Pinterest at pinterest.com/sj_sunspots.


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