DEAR SUN SPOTS: On Dec. 19, my daughter, Victoria “Ria” Sessions, of Norway competed in her first invitational international competition in the Bahamas. She competed an Xcel platinum division and won a silver medal representing the USA and her gym, Maine Academy of Gymnastics in Westbrook.
As a parent, I wanted to express our gratitude to everyone who helped her with raising funds to go there and compete. — Gracia, no town

ANSWER: Congratulations to Ria! You must be so proud. I hope she continues on this athletic path as long as it gives her joy and that we hear great things about her in the future.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Sadly for Tommy’s Feral Feline Friends and others, Amazon will no longer be donating money to charities through their Amazon Smile program after Feb. 20.

For friends who have been donating to the organization, we would appreciate all the support you can give before Amazon Smile ends.

We never made a significant amount like other organizations, but for Tommy’s babies it was like getting a million dollars. This helped so many times over the years knowing we had often exhausted our funds but could rely on Amazon Smile. We are asking friends to conclude this fabulous program with lots of shopping for Tommy’s.

We send heartfelt appreciation for every friend who has supported Tommy’s Feral Feline Friends. We never knew the contributors, but every cent has made a difference in helping to save lives. Your kindness will always be a gift of love we will carry with us. Thank you! — Tommy’s Feral Feline Friends, Greene


ANSWER: Donations and volunteers are always welcome. You can find updated information and stories about the kitties here:

According to a news spot on National Public Radio, Amazon is ending its charity donation program by Feb. 20. The move to close out AmazonSmile comes after a series of other cost-cutting measures.

Through the program, which has been in operation since 2013, Amazon donates 0.5% of eligible purchases to a charity of the shopper’s choice. The program has donated over $400 million to U.S. charities and more than $449 million globally, according to Amazon.

Many shoppers who use AmazonSmile have expressed their dismay on social media and shared the impact the program has had on the charities they support.

Amazon said it will help charities transition by “providing them with a one-time donation equivalent to three months of what they earned in 2022 through the program” and allowing them to continue receiving donations until the program’s official end in February.

After that, shoppers can still support charities by buying items off their Amazon wish lists, the company said, adding that it will continue to support other programs such as affordable housing programs, food banks and disaster relief.

So please remember, readers, that if you are looking for ways to help nonprofits, you can go to their websites to find out how to make financial donations, and how to donate items on their wish lists where there are usually a variety of items within everyone’s price range. Every little bit helps.

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