DEAR SUN SPOTS: Catholic Charities Maine SEARCH Program is in need of donations of colorful four-ply yarn for our volunteer knitters. We also have a need for more knitters and community volunteers to support our isolated seniors. Thank you so much for your continued support of our program. For more information, please contact [email protected] or 784-0157.

— Wendy, director, Catholic Charities SEARCH Program, Auburn

ANSWER: Since 1975, SEARCH (Seek Elderly Alone, Renew Courage and Hope) has provided volunteer services to seniors in Androscoggin County. Since then, the program has expanded into other areas. SEARCH helps seniors feel less isolated and more connected to their community while remaining independent in their own homes. Volunteers provide free support services including visits and companionship, socialization, transportation for grocery shopping and errands, telephone reassurance calls, and information and referrals to other community services and programs.

Besides yarn for SEARCH, Catholic Charities has an extensive wish list on its website. Winter clothing, bed linens, kitchen and pantry items, school supplies, toiletries and diapers are all needed, as are monetary donations. You can even donate a vehicle or boat! Be sure to go to for more information.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: On Dec. 14, Don wrote in asking for places to donate clothing. Safe Voices, an organization that supports those affected by domestic violence, may need them. It also has a wish list on its website,

— No name, no town

ANSWER: People supported by Safe Voices do need clothing, especially maternity clothes. There are other needs as well. Items as simple as socks, towels, pots and pans, flatware and pillowcases, are all necessities that we don’t often think to donate when we’re cleaning out our closets and cupboards or buying extra items at the store to share with others.

Other items on Safe Voices’ wish list include baby monitors, crib sheets for portable “pack ’n plays,” laundry soap, diapers and baby wipes. Safe Voices also has a play area for small children in their shelter and needs dolls and puppets, dramatic play items, arts and crafts supplies, and trucks and blocks. If you need more information and before you bring in items, contact Victoria at 795-6744, ext. 214.

Another way to help Safe Voices is to volunteer or donate funds. Checks can be mailed to Safe Voices, P.O. Box 713, Auburn, ME 04212 or you can give through its website at

If you are in an abusive relationship and need support, call the Safe Voices 24-hour helpline right now! Don’t spend another day without getting the help you need.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Regarding the Dec. 27 Sun Spots about repairing Oriental rugs, you can add A.E. Runge Jr. Oriental Rugs at 108 Main St. in Yarmouth to the Rolodex. Their contact information is 846-9000 and [email protected] Besides handling Oriental rugs, they also appraise, clean and restore most other area rugs, including braided and hooked rugs.

— No name, no town

DEAR SUN SPOTS: For the “smelly kid feet” (Sun Spots, Dec. 18), the best way to clear that up is for the child to wear only white, 100 percent cotton socks and dry or new shoes to start. It may be hard to find the socks, but I would try.

— No name, Turner

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]

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