Maine Prepares

Age-Friendly Saco fills sand buckets wth the help of  students in the Thornton Academy Interact Club

Age-Friendly Portland recruits people to help older neighbors with shoveling. 

Age-Friendly South Portland encourages friendly competition among business owners for the coveted "Golden Shovel Award". 

Age-Friendly Coastal Communities (Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle) delivers soup and makes sure older residents know about their sand bucket program. 

People from away have little idea what is necessary for us to prepare for winter. For some of them, a few inches of snow is newsworthy! Here, it takes more than that! And preparation is key to winter survival success.

Because ability and age may impact our abilities to do so, many A-F/Lifelong communities have long-standing programs to help their residents prepare.

Sand buckets
(it would be simpler to list who doesn’t do this!)

Usually working in partnership with their municipalities, A-F/LL committees that support sand bucket programs are very popular! In most communities, residents are welcome to pick up sand, but in some, the A-F/LL committees organize delivery for those who need it. 

Some of the Maine communities that do this include: Bath,Berwick, Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Brunswick,Caribou, Castine,Chelsea, Danforth, Deer Isle, Fryeburg, Georgetown, Lisbon, Little Deer Isle, Penobscot,  Readfield, Sedgwick, South Portland, Sullivan, Surry, and Stonington. 

Shoveling Services

In small towns, this neighborly gesture is often done by – you guessed it! - neighbors. In some towns, the fire company and the public works department volunteer to help - quietly and without recognition.

In both Portland and South Portland, volunteers maintain critical paths and walkways for people who are not able to do for themselves. The idea is to clear a path that allows the resident, emergency personnel, Meals on Wheels delivery people, mail carriers, and other visitors to get in and out of the house safely. Volunteers are matched with residents and, it is said, that friendships have been an unexpected result! 

Window Dressers

Window inserts are designed and cut by Window Dressers, a not-for-profit organization in eastern Maine which ships them to participating communities  for assembly and installment. This program provides low cost window insulation for homes with high energy loss and costs.

Some who participate include: China, Fryeburg, Hallowell, Jackman, Madison, Sullivan

Fuel Buying Coop in Georgetown

AFG partnered with local fuel suppliers to create The Georgetown Buying Group to negotiate lower heating fuel rates. By buying in quantity, the customers and the fuel dealers benefit. 

Lunch Box Delivery 

The Lunch Box program was designed by The Healthy Peninsula program to address food security issues for Deer Isle – Stonington seniors during the pandemic. Deliveries are made every Thursday from mid-September through mid-June. Each week, participants receive a tasty lunch - brought right to their home. They also receive a wellness check by phone. A $5 donation per meal is requested,but not required.

The Golden Shovel Award

In Bucksport, Caribou and South Portland, the business community is enlisted to keep sidewalks snow and ice free. Residents of all ages appreciate walking without fear! At the end of each season, the Age-Friendly committees in these towns award the coveted Golden Shovel to that business that did it best! 

In South Portland, the city installs sand barrels at strategic locations to support the businesses keeping the sidewalks safe. They also allow pedestrians to have sand handy, if needed.

You will find  more information about all these programs (and a lot more!),  when you visit the Lifelong Maine website.