DEAR SUN SPOTS: In February 2022, we were spurred to start a warming center after an unhoused woman froze to death in Lewiston. As warmer weather approached, the center (at the First Universalist Church, 169 Pleasant St. in Auburn) became a low-barrier weekend drop-in, working to provide resources, comfort and dignity to the homeless people in this area.

A Wednesday morning program has been developed so local service providers can help guests connect to resources. Many community businesses and churches have provided food, funds and supplies. The people of Lewiston-Auburn and our surrounding communities have been generous in donating clothing and necessities.

Volunteers staff the center when it is open, cooking, chatting, cleaning and filling requests for our guests. Volunteers work behind the scenes all week, sorting donations, hanging clothes, washing items, repairing, knitting, sewing, browsing sales and passing the word about current needs. A few hours a week, a few hours a month, we value the fact that we can make an impact in our own community for our local brothers and sisters. There have been 2,200 visits to the drop-in in one year!

We need volunteers at the Pleasant Street center. If you are interested, contact Kitsie Claxton at [email protected] — Sue and Caroline, no town

ANSWER: This effort sounds amazing and you can count on Sun Spots to help you get the word out on needs, events, etc.

According to the organization’s Facebook page (, the needs include warm clothes, coats, socks, boots, gloves, mittens, sleeping bags of any kind of tent, tarps, backpacks, totes, wheeled luggage, or duffel bags. These items  plus others are gathered through donations to support guests.


Leave donations at the First Universalist Church on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or send an email (above) and someone will help with pickup.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Regarding the Sun Spots letter Feb. 21 about funeral scams and worrying about paying, as a single senior citizen woman and alone, I prepaid my funeral even though I’m on a very low income.

I made all my arrangements with a local funeral parlor. It took me seven years to pay what I owed so that now my nieces and nephews won’t have to worry about my funeral expenses or my wishes.

Going without what most folks feel they must have is the only way I can pay my bills. I even paid into a pension plan at my job before retirement, instead of paying for cable television. Now I’m collecting the money monthly. I do not wait for government aid if I can help it.

We seniors are targeted by scammers daily. I sometimes receive six to eight phone calls a day. — Gabrielle, no town

ANSWER: It sounds like you have made some sacrifices but in return you have the assurance that your end-of-life arrangements will be carried out without burdening your relatives. I’m proud of you!

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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