“During this time of uncertainty and rapidly changing threat of COVID-19 it is with heavy hearts that we are writing to inform you of the cancellation of the 2020, 168th Orono Fair on September 10-13,” said a statement from the Orono Agricultural Society’s Board of Directors.
People who have to wear protective masks for extended periods of time often experience discomfort from the mask straps which irritate the ears. Now, help is on the way thanks to nine-year old Landen Strawn of Newcastle who, along with his younger sister (five-year old Savannah) have been busily producing and donating plastic mask holders for frontline workers.
“Well, no-one is more surprised than I am,” replied Mortimer when asked why he thought he had lived this long. He is up and out on this chilly day, hat on head and a jacket. He is curious, about why all these people are making a fuss on the lawn outside Parkview Lodge in Newcastle. He waves back from the balcony and gives a big smile.
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench in to the fundraising plans of charities at a time when many of them are in need of an influx of cash to continue their operations.
Having worked for a little over a decade in the charitable sector I can say it isn’t built for a crisis such as this. Very few organizations have reserves, and if they do, they are not very deep. Unquestionably revenues are down. Most importantly, charities need cash to make sure they can keep their vital services going.
Like many small businesses, the lack of cash and reserves has forced many organizations to close their doors or lay off employees. Layoffs can be especially challenging, as physical-distancing guidelines during the pandemic are preventing volunteers from stepping in to help in roles they once would have been able to support.
Fundraising efforts for Clarington’s residential hospice in Newcastle have not been abandoned, but set aside for the moment being sensitive to the fact that through this pandemic people are struggling, with businesses closed and people out of work or working reduced hours.
REKO Is a local food network which allows consumers to buy food directly from farmers, ordering through Facebook, with delivery at a set time and location. This local food network concept was started by Thomas Snellman, a farmer in Finland, to build a relationship between small scale local producers and consumers.
In a world of difficult headlines which can sometimes feel overwhelming, it is uplifting to hear news about local people and companies giving back to their communities.
“Wow. That looks worse than Humpty Dumpty”, exclaimed Greg Muscat to Brother Charles.
In 2004, Muscat and his wife Vicki, residents of Newcastle, were visiting family near San Jose, where an earthquake had done damage to the area some years ago.