DEAR SUN SPOTS: Last time the Center for Wisdom’s Women had a need for volunteers, you shared the request and two perfect people came to us. Perhaps you can work the miracle again.

We always need companions, such as retired social workers, teachers, therapists, counselors, chaplains and nurses. They each give a half-day per week and are a calming presence at the center. The entire team meets monthly and has a training day once a year. There is an application, interview and screening process for this position. We also need front-desk greeters to answer the phone and interact with guests, and volunteers to pick up recycling once a week as the city doesn’t pick up at our building. Someone who is willing to clean floors and bathrooms once a week would be helpful, too.

Our budding social enterprise, Herban Works, would welcome a small-business development adviser and in the spring we’ll need gardeners.

Those who are interested in any of these opportunities can call or stop by the center and ask for me or Sonia. Thank you!

— Klara, Lewiston

DEAR SUN SPOTS: We have an 8-year-old son whose feet and consequently, his shoes, smell absolutely terrible no matter what we do. He takes a shower almost every night and we often buy him new shoes. We have taken him to the pediatrician and have soaked his feet in everything imaginable.

He is a very sweet boy, except for his feet! When he takes off his shoes we all want to vacate the premises! Help!

— No name, no town

ANSWER: You have my sympathies. You say your son is showering nearly every day, but is he really taking the time to scrub his feet with soap or just letting the water run over them? Using antibacterial soap and really getting between the tootsies could make a big difference.

Do you know there are half-a-million sweat glands in your feet? Other actions that may help include having him go barefoot at home whenever possible and alternating between a few pairs of shoes (those that can be laundered are best) so the others have a chance to air out. Buy some extra shoe insoles and replace them often. There are several different products to deodorize feet, but wearing white socks made out of natural materials and changing them twice a day may do the trick. Applying baking soda, corn starch or a non-talc powder onto his feet before putting those socks on, and at bedtime, will help keep his feet dry.

A daily 20-minute foot soak can make a difference, too. One cup of white or apple cider vinegar to two cups of warm water; or five black or mint tea bags steeped in a quart of warm water; or 1/4 cup Epsom salts in a quart of water are all worth a try.

Kids with smelly feet are pretty common. Is your little guy just really active or is he showing signs of anxiety? If there’s something that’s emotionally bothering him, that could cause his sweaty feet to go into overdrive.

The most important thing is to keep those feet and shoes dry! If all else fails, there are prescription medications and even UV shoe sanitizers that cost $100-$150.

Good luck!

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 protected]

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.

filed under: