FARMINGTON — Neighbors care for neighbors throughout Maine, it’s what we do. That is why the nine United Ways of Maine are teaming up as Maine United and coordinating statewide fundraising efforts and funds in their respective communities.

In Franklin County, Livermore and Livermore Falls. United Way of the Tri-Valley Area is seeking donations to The Very Basics Fund. Donations will help area front-line nonprofits provide basic needs such as fuel, food and shelter to those significantly affected by COVID-19. The virus is having a devastating effect on residents as businesses are shuttered, childcare is needed and resources are scarce.

Give at uwtva.org/give. Payments can also be mailed to United Way, PO Box 126, Farmington, ME 04938. To donate by text, text United to 207-828-6622. Lisa Laflin, executive director of UWTVA, appreciates the note shared by the first donor who made her contribution on-line. She said, “We all have to pitch in now. We can’t wait for the government to help us.”

Nonprofits, including food pantries, schools, health care institutions and municipalities are encouraged to apply to The Very Basics Fund at https://www.uwtva.org/what-we-do/funding/very-basics-fund. Every effort is being made to get money back into the community to help those affected sooner rather than later.

For those looking for additional ways to help … United Way of the Tri-Valley Area has a critical volunteer opportunity. It allows for continued social distancing and provides a needed resource. Staff are coordinating the distribution of handmade masks for use in the community. Check out a video linked from Dartmouth-Hitchcock for guidelines.

Those who are symptom-free, have the material, the skills and the time are invited to join in. The tighter the weave on the fabric the better. There is a tote outside the UWTVA office at 218 Fairbanks Road to collect masks. For questions, email [email protected] or call the office at 207-778-5048.

The masks are not a substitute for the N-95 respirators recommended by the CDC, but may reduce the risk of airborne droplet spread in the absence of approved personal protective equipment, which is in short supply.

For more information about the United Way, visit www.uwtva.org or visit United Way on Facebook at www.facebook.com/uwtva.


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