The past months have been like no other in our shared lifetime. The way our communities have come together displays the bravery, courage, kindness, compassion and innovation we come to expect as Mainers. From the courageous work of health care workers and first responders, to the dedication of educators, and the innovation and urgency from business leaders retooling to lend a hand to produce much-needed personal protective equipment, Mainers are here for each other.    

At the Sun Journal we’re here to tell these incredible stories of struggle and strength.  We’ve kept you updated with the latest data on active cases and outbreaks, ensuring you’re informed and understand how to protect yourself and your loved ones.    

We’ve heard from many of you and we appreciate the thanks and encouragement we’ve received during this challenging time, including this message from longtime reader Ted Walworth: Three cheers for the LSJ and its intrepid photojournalists, resourceful reporters, and gritty editor. And cheers to the folks who continue to deliver my paper each morning. Hang in there and see us through this predicament.

But, as we keep reporting the news in the face of a dramatic loss of advertising revenue, we need your support to continue our essential journalism.

There are three ways you can help:     

  1.  Buy a subscription.  
  2.  If you already subscribe, buy a subscription as a gift for someone else who appreciates the role that independent journalism plays in keeping our community informed.  
  3. Make a donation. Through our membership in the Local Media Association, we are now able to accept donations through its 501(c)(3) foundation. The donation is tax deductible and will be used to support more than 300 Sun Media Group employees in our relentless pursuit of the truth.   

To buy a subscription or make a donation, visit sunjournal.com/support. 

In recent weeks, the Sun Journal has produced dozens of stories about how our communities are navigating the challenges of COVID-19, including Staff Writer Karen Kreworuka’s report on local school districts adopting “blended learning” — a combination of online and traditional instruction — to meet the needs of students, and Staff Writer Steve Sherlock’s look at how nursing programs have turned to virtual training to replace bedside treatment of patients during the final semester before graduation.

And, following years of planning implementation of the transformation plan in Lewiston, early this week Staff Writer Andrew Rice reported that plan is most likely on hold as many of the stakeholders are suddenly focusing on more pressing needs for residents, like rent payments and groceries in a neighborhood already struggling with poverty.

But, even though virus coverage has been the overwhelming news of the day, our journalists have continued to report breaking news.

On April 15, Staff Writer Donna Perry was the first journalist in Maine to report the massive explosion at the Androscoggin Mill in Jay, teaming up with staff writers,  photographers and digital editors through the day to bring you the latest developments — including the welcome news that there were no serious injuries at the mill. She stayed on that story to report the much-anticipated news that the mill was re-starting papermaking operations just a week after the explosion.

And, most recently, Staff Writer Lindsay Tice reported two recent inspections at Marshwood Center in Lewiston that show the facility remains troubled by low staff and poor care. The state has asked the federal government to stop paying for some patients to stay at Marshwood unless improvements are swift, but COVID-19 is causing a delay.  

I can’t say thank you enough for supporting the exceptional journalism produced in our newsroom. Our editorial staff is focused on making certain you have timely and comprehensive coverage about issues that are important to you.  

In addition to our investigative efforts and coverage of breaking news, we are also bringing you stories of hope and compassion. Of neighbors helping neighbors, and strangers helping strangers. Of families coping in this time of uncertainty.

And, our circulation operations team is working exhaustively to make sure our newspapers are delivered safely to you.

I’m at a loss for words to accurately describe the commitment felt by every member of our staff as we continue to publish our newspapers and produce our websites.  Every employee understands how vital it is to serve our readers with the latest news impacting our health, our economy and our communities.  

While most of us are working from home, we are deeply appreciative of our colleagues who are out in the field, including reporters and photographers and, at night, our copy editors and designers. Our colleagues in the pressroom and production facility remain on site to do their part to deliver the news. 

Our heart aches for many of our loyal advertisers whose businesses are dark. We look forward to the day when they return, and we’ll be there to mobilize our readership to support all of you as we work together to revitalize our economy, to get together to socialize, to support our local businesses and to once again congregate in our parks and recreation areas.

We’ve been uplifted by the thanks we’ve received from so many of you. Appreciation of our work has been validated through the growth in readership, specifically through digital subscriptions.  To our home delivery customers, we pledge to continue to deliver your newspaper following our stringent safety protocols.    

Maine has endured wars, depression and now a pandemic.  For more than 125 years the Sun Journal has been there to cover it all. With your support, we will continue to be there for you and for Maine. 

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