The American Red Cross is always in need of blood donations. Gustavo Frazao/Shutterstock.com

Donate blood to the American Red Cross
The Portland Blood Donation Center,  524 Forest Ave., Portland. Schedule an appointment and find upcoming blood drives at redcrossblood.org or by calling 800-733-2767.
Looking to help others while also staying safe? Considering making a blood donation. The American Red Cross is regulated by the FDA and follows strict safety protocols. All staff and volunteers wear gloves and masks, and every effort is made to move you through check-in, health history, the mini-physical and actual blood draw as quickly as possible. The need for blood donations never goes away because blood is perishable and cannot be stockpiled. Roll up your sleeve and open your heart! Also, there are free snacks when you’re finished.

Odie hanging out in the blanket fort in his Cape Elizabeth home. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

Make a Blanket Fort
Wherever you’re isolating
When is the last time you made a blanket fort? If you’re a parent of young children this might be commonplace, but what about the rest of us? Everyone deserves to spend some time in the cozy cocoon of a blanket fort, especially when it’s constructed in the middle of the living room. Maybe use a yoga mat or two or a comforter as the floor. Then frame it with backwards facing kitchen chairs and drape a variety of blankets accordingly. It’s also OK to use flat sheets if you need to. When it’s done, string a set of holiday lights inside for ambiance or use a flashlight. Then crawl inside and just hang out. Maybe bring your laptop or tablet with you and stream a movie. Heck you can even have a picnic in there. Your fort, your rules! Your inner child can’t wait. P.S. If this all sounds like too much work, pitch a tent inside instead.

Many local restaurants are offering food delivery. Andrew Angelov/Shutterstock.com

Dinner Party with local food
Anytime. Order from 2dinein.com and grubhub.com. You can also contact most restaurants directly to place curbside takeout orders.
Are you sick of cooking every single meal at home? Want to help support the local Maine economy? Here’s the good news; you can do both as you put away the pots and pans – at least for one meal – and have a delicious dinner from a local restaurant delivered right to your home. Tip as generously as you can for these culinary warriors, and heck, maybe enjoy your feast by candlelight with the “good dishes” and your best formal wear. There’s a lot to not like about this so-called “new normal” but there’s no need for your taste buds to suffer.

Game Warden Sgt. Terry Hughes, right, Maine State Police Trooper Diane Vance, center, and Somerset County Deputy Jeremy Leal on April 9, 2013 inspect Christopher Knight’s camp in a remote, wooded section of Rome. Andy Molloy/Staff Photographer

Watch the documentary ‘The Hermit: The True Legend of the North Pond Hermit’
Anytime, free. vimeo.com
Long before any us knew the term “social distancing,” Christopher Knight, aka The North Pond Hermit, adopted it as a lifestyle. This dude didn’t come in physical contact with anyone (with minimal exceptions) for 27 years, tucked away in the woods of the North Pond area of the Belgrade Lakes. His jig was up in 2013 when he was caught in the act of stealing from a summer camp and was arrested. Now available on Vimeo, you can stream the 23-minute documentary from 2015 made by French-American filmmaker Lena Friedrich. It’s riveting from start to finish and features interviews with several people he stole food and supplies from through the years, as well as a police officer involved in his arrest and several other local residents whose lives he impacted one way or another.


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