The Star-Herald

Aroostook RSVP, Agency on Aging offers hot meal, reserved parking during parade

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – Taking advantage of the popularity of Presque Isle’s holiday light parade, leaders of Aroostook RSVP are serving up a hot meal prior to the upcoming event in hopes of raising money and  awareness for the volunteer-driven organization.

“Hot & Hearty Chicken Stew To Go“ is a walk-up fundraiser going on at Aroostook Agency on Aging’s main  office at 260 Main Street on Saturday, Dec 3 from 4-6 p.m. Sales of the $10 meals will benefit the longstanding service that matches people aged 55 and over with volunteer opportunities to serve their  communities and neighbors in a meaningful way. Organizers believe the opportunity to purchase a warm meal to support a worthy cause is also a reason for people to take in the parade festivities and sights. 

To make the annual holiday parade more accessible and visible to older persons and those with  disabilities, the Agency on Aging has reserved plenty of street-side parking spaces for those seeking to get a good view from the comfort and warmth of their own vehicle. 

“We are encouraging all folks waiting for the parade to stop by and get warmed up with a delicious to-go chicken stew meal with roll, beverage, and dessert for only $10,” said Sherry Beaulieu, manager of Volunteer Services at the agency. 

The mission of Aroostook RSVP, she added, is vital to northern Maine. “Those who purchase a meal will  be helping us to help our community. Aroostook RSVP aims to make life better for older adults and those who are disabled by connecting caring people with their neighbors who are in a moment of need.” 

So far this year, Aroostook RSVP volunteers have donated over 24,000 hours at soup kitchens, food  pantries and thrift stores from Benedicta to Madawaska. This represents a value of nearly $620,000 in donated labor, according to Carleen Elliott, Advisory Board chairperson. 

Several anonymous businesses, Elliot said, have paid all up-front expenses for the fundraiser. “The chicken  stew fundraiser will also help meet ongoing expenses necessary to recruit, train and support Aroostook  RSVP volunteers, many of whom have served consistently at one or more of the community-based partner  sites,” said Elliot. 

Beaulieu said Aroostook RSVP works closely with a network of nonprofits including the United Way and ACAP in a variety of ways including food security, help with light housework and caring companionship. 

“It’s a very rewarding feeling to know that these efforts are making a real difference in The County. Our volunteers are caring people who know that someday they themselves or their own family might need a little help. They are paying it forward,” she added. 

For more information about Aroostook RSVP including how to become a volunteer, please call the Agency  on Aging at 207-764-3396 or 1-800-439-1789. Or visit the Agency website at www.aroostookaging.org.

The mission of the Aroostook Agency on Aging is to improve the quality of life and promote the well-being of older people in our communities. Since 1973, the agency has served as a resource, helping people to access information and services, while also advocating to assure the rights we all value are respected.

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