Members of the Hall-Dale Elementary School parent-teacher organization, together with members of the Hallowell All-Age-Friendly Committee, have developed a Hallowell Help Hotline, email and website to help those in need of assistance, according to a news release from Bob McIntire, chairman of the Hallowell committee.

Many were anxious to help in any way they could. Community members were active on a Facebook page and began sharing information. Peter Spiegel, a Hall-Dale parent, created an online form so those willing to volunteer could sign indicating how they could help, for example shopping for groceries, delivering food to those quarantined or offering a ride. Within a week more than 50 people had signed up to provide what assistance they could.

According to the release, Charlotte Warren, who represents Hallowell, West Gardiner and Manchester in the Maine Legislature, learned of the effort and posted the invitation to recruit helpers in those communities as well. Members of the age-friendly committee recognized the need for recruiting volunteers and sharing information and recruited Chris Cart, artist and web designer, to create hallowellhelps.org. People who want to help and those who need assistance can visit, there are links to programs such as Meals on Wheels and SEARCH, the Catholic Charities effort to find drivers and companions.

The Hallowell Food Bank needed packers and drivers as many of the volunteers are older and concerned about contracting the coronavirus. The food bank also began distributing food once a week rather than once a month. Jeanne Langsdorf, the food bank director contacted Warren to recruit helpers through the new initiative.

People needing assistance are encouraged to call the Hallowell Help Hotline 370-1406 and leave a message, email [email protected] or fill out an online form at the website hallowellhelps.org.

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