Our world has changed drastically in the past few days, hasn’t it? And our community has responded! An area task force has formed to help older citizens and others who are wisely following advice to minimize their interactions with the public. This group, the Bethel Area Neighborhood Response to COVID-19, suggests that first, people get updated, valid information on the virus and appropriate responding behaviors, from the Centers for Disease Control ( https://www.cdc.gov. or call 211).

Second, if you’re sick or have health-related questions, call the Bethel Family Health Center at 207-824-2193. Finally, if you’re staying at home, you may request help from the volunteer force (email [email protected] or call 207-370-2520). Volunteers can get and deliver groceries and supplies, call to check in or say hello, pick up prescriptions, or deliver Bethel Food Pantry baskets. What a community we are privileged to live in!

The AARP website also has a host of helpful links: https://www.aarp.org. Please keep well-informed and up-to-date on activity closings – and be kind to one another. The AFCI has cancelled our “Luck of the Seniors” lunch that was to be on March 24th.

But there’s also happier news. AFCI recently held our first “Brew” get-together at the Robinson House of the Bethel Historical Society. The participants and presenters at “Our Community’s Clever Crafters” had a cozy time watching Lorrie Hoeh spinning yarn and Cathy Newell hooking a rug – surrounded by beautiful quilts and fabric totebags. Especially fascinating were Donna Gillis’ (Seamsundone) gorgeous custom- designed quilts, including her heart-warming “hugs” for cancer patients and donations for fund-raising for a variety of non-profit organizations.

And the Repant project makes us truly proud of the ingenuity and generosity of our community. This group of “elves” (they call themselves) fashion distinctive, wonderful totes made from upcycled pants from the Bethel Area District Exchange. All proceeds from the sales support the Exchange, the Food Pantry, the School Backpack Program, and the Smile Fund. FMI: Facebook: /DistrictExchange or /RepantTotesBethelMaine.

Spring cleaning is just around the corner! Need help with those tricky chores like yard raking and cleaning, seasonal gardening tasks, toting items to the dump, cleaning out gutters? Telstar’s Interact program and AFCI’s Handy Neighbor Program to the rescue! Call the AFCI Project Request number (824-4444) and leave a message. The project coordinator will call you to make work arrangements.

AFCI email: [email protected]; website: www.agefriendlybethel.org. Facebook page: facebook.com/agefriendlybethel.

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