The Star-Herald

Sale of hand-knitted items, crafts to benefit Aroostook RSVP

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — With the holiday season shifting into high gear, the staff and volunteers of  Aroostook RSVP have launched one of their most important fundraisers – the Warm Hand & Feet Project  and Crafts Sale.

A colorful assortment is set up now at the Aroostook Agency on Aging office on Main  Street and plans are to kick off the month-long drive with an open house during Presque Isle’s First Friday Art Walk.

On Friday, Nov. 4 from 4-8 p.m., members of the Aroostook RSVP advisory committee and some of the  knitters and crafters who donate their talents and skills to the project, will be on hand with a large display  and variety of their creations in the 260 Main Street Artists for Aging gallery. All proceeds will support Aroostook RSVP and its important work throughout northern Maine. 

Sherry Beaulieu, manager of volunteer services at the Agency on Aging, said the fall fundraiser is critical  to the mission of RSVP whose volunteers serve throughout Aroostook in many capacities. In 2021 alone, nearly 350 persons donated over 27,000 hours of time in a variety of ways – from stocking and staffing  food pantries and thrift stores, to helping older persons schedule online vaccination and booster appointments or update Medicare coverage. 

“Aroostook RSVP is a proud volunteer-based workforce program that provides and creates volunteer opportunities for older folks wanting to discover ways for doing purposeful work while giving back and  making a difference. These volunteers provide a much-needed service to many of our community non profit service partners like United Way and Meals on Wheels as well as the Agency on Aging,” Beaulieu said. 

The program, she added, is substantially supported financially through AmeriCorps Seniors. “In order for  the Aroostook RSVP program to thrive and to continue receiving the AmeriCorps grant, we are required  to raise local matching dollars. People who purchase these sought-after items during our Warm Hands  and Feet craft sale can feel really good that their hard-earned money is going to a meaningful and  worthwhile cause,” Beaulieu said. 

In addition to the craft sale, there are other ways to support Aroostook RSVP including an Online RADA  Kitchen Cutlery Sale (visit https://radafundraising.com?rfsn=3346394.e723ef) and a limited supply of  Country Farm Truck Décor Christmas Wreaths at just $9 each. 

Members of Aroostook RSVP Advisory Council include Chairperson Carleen Elliott, Vice Chairperson Betty Rinehart, Millie McLean, Rob Meinders, Ginny Joles, Rena Kearney, Laureen Carlisle, Dottie Wheeler,  Keary Johnston, and Christine McPherson. 

The Aroostook RSVP fundraisers will continue beyond the Nov. 4 Art Walk and through the holiday season. The public is welcome to visit during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30  p.m. 

For more information, contact Beaulieu at 207-764-3396 or email info@aroostookaging.org.

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