SANFORD — Sometimes, folks just need a helping hand. Winter is on the way, and while gas and heating oil prices are falling a bit from what they were a while ago, those who help others say people still struggle to make ends meet.

Folks in Sanford and surrounding communities can get a bit of help, a meal, a haircut, a flu shot and a whole lot more Monday with Communities Care, set to begin with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. at North Parish Congregational Church, located at 895 Main St., downtown.

Last year, six churches pooled their resources to host the event. This year, a seventh has signed on. Last year, estimates Rev. Sue Murphy of St. George’s Episcopal Church, more than 200 people were served.

“It’s a way of helping folks having a hard time right now, especially people with children,” said Murphy, who estimated about 60 children were among the 200 folks attending in 2013.

There will be blood pressure screenings, flu shots ”“ folks with MaineCare cards are asked to bring them ”“ eye tests for common eye problems, foot care, chair massage, manicures and more. A “free store” offers socks, underwear, blankets, first aid kits, toiletries, 9-volt batteries for smoke alarms, winter coats and diapers.

Last year, Snip & Tone hair salon owner Alicia Rowe and one of her stylists provided upwards of 70 haircuts; this year, instead of bringing their equipment to the church, those who want a haircut can register at the church and then make their way across Main Street to Snip & Tone, where Alicia, and three other stylists have volunteered to provide as many haircuts as possible. Rowe said the salon will provide a playroom for kids while their parents or grandparents get haircuts, and more.

“It was fun last year and it always feels good to help out the community,” said Rowe. “We love doing it.”

Rowe said when she was approached this year, she offered the salon space because so many more haircuts could be provided that way.

Back at the church, breakfast is set for 8:30-9:30 a.m.; lunch 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. There will be a workshop on making healthy snacks, some arts and crafts for children, a children’s reading corner, and a play area for kids so parents can check out resources.

There will be an array of information on: WIC Program, LiHeap, Maine Behavioral Healthcare, Center for Grieving Children; prescription discounts, recovery programs, the Code Red program, prescription program sign-up; York County Community Action, Southern Maine Health Center of Sanford with information on all programs, the United Way Weatherization,  Program Hospice of Southern Maine and more.

Participating churches include Acton Congregational UCC Church; Alfred Parish UCC Church; Crossroads Methodist Church, Sanford; North Parish UCC Church, Sanford; St. George’s Episcopal Church, Sanford; Sanford Unitarian Universalist Church and Evergreen Covenant Church, Sanford. 

“It’s going to be a great day,” said Murphy.

And, she said, the church congregations have been generous.

“People are blessed and they want to bless in return,” she said.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]

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