DEAR SUN SPOTS: Many of us purchase quite a few items online and receive these items in nice sturdy cardboard boxes. I hate to just throw them away and even putting them on the curb for recycling does not seem like enough. Is there anyone out there who could use these boxes? — Lucy, no town

ANSWER: I’m giving you suggestions for “normal” times, and ask readers to do the same. Nonprofit thrift stores, libraries, schools and food pantries are just a few new homes for your boxes. Companies that help people organize could also use them. Look for those in your area and give them a call.

They can also be used in myriad ways in your own home to stack and sort items from toiletries to pantry items and can even be used for artistic endeavors.

For the immediate future, however, set those boxes out for recycling or store them in your garage or shed. These days, when I receive a box, I open it outside if possible then thoroughly wash my hands.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’m a senior citizen and need help with getting a cell phone. I have no idea where to start, but because of everything happening in the world right now, I’m overdue. I have some computer experience, enough to google things I’m curious about and to email. I’d like more mature readers like myself to make suggestions, please. — Rose, no town

ANSWER: This is a very timely question and I have a recent recommendation/thank you/testimonial from another reader. If you have had helpful service regarding technology in our digital world, I would love to give the business or individual a shout-out in Sun Spots.

“I would like to have you share with your readers what a treasure I found at U. S. Cellular at the 806 Sabattus St. location. I’m 80 years old and I have been feeling very intimidated by purchasing and learning to use a smart phone. I’ve gone to some of the offices around and usually back out because it seems so intimidating. However, last summer I lost my brother and had to plan a funeral happening out of town with all it entails as well as a burial service at another out of town location. Having misplaced my flip phone, Nick, the manager of U.S. Cellular loaned me a flip phone, and took over a half hour resetting it for me. He never pressured me to return it.

I recently bit the bullet and made my decision to purchase a smart phone and I cannot express how accommodating and patient Nick and his staff have been with me. They did not pressure me into buying a very expensive phone and welcomed me to return to help me navigate things that I cannot seem to figure out on my own. They have helped me out a couple of different times with things that seemed to be overwhelming for me.

I strongly encourage anyone who is intimidated by technology, to not allow themselves to be left behind, but to seek out their help and know that they will be there for you. I’m eternally indebted to them.

Thank you for all the services you share with your readers to keep us informed.” — Rita, no town

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