May 10, 2012

washington hancock community agency

I recently came into contact with Sarah, a woman who works with the Washington Hancock Community Agency in Maine. She knew how much I like to knit for nest:Maine, and wnated to make me aware of her organiation, and how they are providing both handmade items and new coats to folks in their community!

 From her e-mail:

Winterwear is a new program at the Washington Hancock Community Agency, serving Washington and Hancock counties, in eastern Maine. These counties are rural but big, by eastern standards. They cover an area about the size of Connecticut, but only have about 70,000 people. Over 700 used coats and 500 new coats were donated and distributed to children and adults in the two counties. Most of these coats were delivered with hats and mittens, while supplies lasted.

In addition to this, people who had coats but needed hats and mittens were able to get them. Up to 1000 hats and pairs of mittens were distributed. Because demand was so high, we put up two mitten trees for local residents to donate. Several individuals knitted hats and mittens for the program, including a local nursing home resident. Agency employees were encouraged to make hats for the program (one employee offered a batch of no-bake cookies to everyone who donated a half dozen hats.)  

Distribution points:
  • Local schools Down East YMCA day care (Hancock County)
  • The Next Step domestic violence prevention project (serves both counties)
  • Local food pantries (serving both counties)
  • WHCA (clients walked in or were referred from our other programs, serving both counties)
  • Names came in from churches, schools, head start, and other agencies for individual coat requests.
By request, new hats and mittens were included in our Christmas packages to low income children in the two counties, in addition to all of these other distributions. The good news is that we have already had a donation of 500 coats for next year.  

The bad news is we are out of hats and mittens and scarves! I have a bag I am working on filling, and hope I can encourage others to do the same, it’s a stash buster!) All sizes, shapes and colors are welcome, fiber content doesn’t matter, although warmer is better – this is Maine! Anything that is donated will be much appreciated. If name and address are included in shipment, acknowledgement will be made.

I've already added this amazing group to my list of places to send hand knits - it sounds like they've got a huge need for hats and mittens for the cold months to come this year!

If you're interested in sending handmade items (or coats!), simply mail your items to the address below:

Sarah Nugent
PO Box 299
Ellsworth, ME 04605

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