DEAR SUN SPOTS: Do you have the names of any organizations in the Auburn area in your Rolodex that take donations left over from garage sales? — Cindy, no town

ANSWER: If you’re looking for pickup, I’m not sure because of COVID-19. Some organizations may want specific things, but may not have the people and vehicles to make it happen during these times.

One place that is actively looking for donations now is the Androscoggin Hospice Thrift Store. Donations can be brought to the store Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m. The store is at 245 Center St., Suite 2 in Auburn. Call 777-7740. Perhaps a pickup could be arranged.

Several area churches have “clothes closets” and also supply small household items to those in need so a call to the churches near your neighborhood may be useful.

Readers, if you know of any other local thrift stores that are open to take donations and offer pickup service, please write in ASAP.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’m 13 years old and my grandmother said I should ask you for advice. I’m addicted to my cellphone. My grandma uses hers just a little so she can’t really help. I don’t want to ask my mom because she’s almost as bad as I am. I don’t know how to stop. I have to be looking at it all the time and it’s bad for me. I try to put it away, but feel lost without it. Gram reads your column every day and sometimes cuts it out and leaves it where she knows Mom will see it and that’s her way of giving us advice!

Anyway, being home all the time and not able to see friends because of the virus has made it worse. I don’t know why I do it because it makes me tired, puts me in a bad mood, and sometimes I have a headache and my neck hurts and I can’t sleep. — No name, no town

ANSWER: Even I use my cellphone too much at times and know the signs.

Talk with your mom and/or grandmother about how you’re really feeling — all of it. It would be good to get a physical and perhaps get a referral to a therapist, too.

Some steps to take on your own are to set up “phone hours” for yourself and only use it within that time. Turn it off and put it out of sight, especially each evening so it’s not keeping you from getting a good night’s rest. Don’t even keep it in your room. Maybe you could ask Mom to keep it for you until a designated time in the morning.

Set the notification on your phone that tracks your hours of usage and limit them then reward yourself with something you like. Lastly, replace the time you have been spending on your phone with other activities you enjoy or try something new. The best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a good one.

I know you can do it! Please keep us posted on your progress!

Parents, your teens need and want guidelines and boundaries. And readers, if you want to chime in, please feel free!

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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