Last year, the South Portland Christmas Toy Drive helped more than 280 South Portland children with new warm coats, boots and toys. One-hundred percent of the money raised goes directly to buying the needed items for children.

Organizers have announced the start of the annual South Portland Christmas Toy Drive. For more information or to adopt a family, contact Liz Darling at Maine Roofing, Inc., 207-767-4243 or email [email protected] Courtesy photo

This is 10th year of the drive and involves a partnership with the South Portland Police Department, South Portland Police Patrolmen’s Association, South Portland school system, South Portland Professional Firefighters Local 1476, South Portland Community Center, Maine Roofing, Inc., Evie’s Ferry Village Watering Hole, Port Harbor Marine and Peoples United – Millcreek.

Each year the toy drive collects hundreds of toys, boots and coats which are distributed to families with the help of police officers. This year, the organization anticipates an even greater need as so many have suffered at the hands of the pandemic. Organizers are looking for businesses, groups or individuals to “adopt children” for the drive. All participants need to do is specify how many children they’d like to buy a coat, boots and some toys for.

The drive is also looking for donations of new, unwrapped toys, art supplies, teen items and gift cards that can be dropped off at any of the businesses listed on the posters around town. The deadline for donations is Friday, Dec. 10.

Organizers have made it easier to donate this year and have added QR codes to the posters that will take contributors directly to the GOFUNDME site (www.gofundme.com/f/SoPoChristmasToyDrive) or to the Venmo account  @so-po-christmas-toy-drive).

Participants can also make checks payable to: SPPPA Community Needs Fund. Checks and/or gift cards can be dropped off or mailed to:
Maine Roofing- 24 Bishop Ave., South Portland, ME 04106.

The annual toy drive party is being held at Evie’s Ferry Village Watering Hole, 121 Sawyer St., South Portland on Saturday, Dec. 11, starting at 6 p.m. Bring new unwrapped toys and enjoy a night of fun and cocktails.

Toy drop-off locations:
Maine Roofing, Inc., 24 Bishop Ave., South Portland
South Portland Police Department, 30 Anthoine St., South Portland
South Portland Fire Station – Cash Corner, 360 Main St., South Portland
South Portland Community Center – 21 Nelson Road, South Portland
Port Harbor Marine, 1 Spring Point Drive, South Portland
People’s United Bank – Millcreek, 15 Hinckley Drive, South Portland
Snap Fitness, 747 Broadway, South Portland
April Cohen Team, 382A Cottage Road, South Portland

For more information or to adopt a family, contact Liz Darling at Maine Roofing, Inc., 207-767-4243 or email [email protected]

Yuletide fair scheduled for Dec. 4

A vintage Christmas will be the focus of the annual Holiday Fair at the First Congregational Church of Scarborough (167 Black Point Road) on Saturday, Dec. 4, from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Featured in the parish hall and the church vestry will be breakfast cake and coffee, handmade items with a Maine theme, holiday greens, Christmas items, quilts, crafts, jewelry, kitchen-ware, hand knits, homemade baked goods, candy and a cookie walk.

Proceeds will go to the church’s charitable efforts. Masks are required. For more information, call 883-2342.

Pie-making event benefits Preble Street Resource Center

South Portland area residents, neighbors and friends will gather Tuesday, Nov. 23, for an evening of pie making to benefit Preble Street Resource Center. The baking will take place at the First Congregational Church basement kitchen at 301 Cottage Road, South Portland, between 3 and 8 p.m. All are welcome.

Bakers are asked to bring all materials for the pie(s) they plan to make, including disposable pie tin, filling and crust. All standard baking equipment will be available – rolling pins, peelers, etc. Canned pumpkin is available if making pumpkin pies. Bakers can arrive anytime between 3 and 8 p.m. with last pie going in the oven at 7 p.m.

Every year, since 2002, a version of this event has been conducted. Initially, baking pies out of the organizer’s home, followed by several group baking events with the Small School PTA, friends and neighbors. In intervening years, the organizer baked in her home.

The year prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the community event was attended by over 25 bakers with 60 pies as the result.  Organizers hope to match or beat that total.

“Thanksgiving is a most beloved secular holiday,’ wrote Ellen Clancy, in a Nov. 14 news release. “Every person, no matter what their current experience is, will appreciate and deserve a slice or two of their favorite pie on this great American holiday. This is a wonderful event to include children, exposing them to charitable giving in a fun and productive way.”

Clancy, of Coldwell Banker Residential Realty, is organizer of this year’s event.

“Thanks to the First Congregational Church for the loan of their industrial kitchen and Scratch Bakery, who once again generously supplied the very necessary pie-boxes without which delivery would be impossibly hard,” wrote Clancy.

For more information, or if planning to bring young children, please email Clancy at [email protected] or call 207-808-3431.

Barksgiving pet food drive planned

The South Portland Dog Owners Group (SoPoDog) will host a Barksgiving community pet food drive on Saturday, Nov. 20 to benefit the South Portland Food Cupboard. The group hopes that the citizens of South Portland while out and about holiday food shopping will drop off donations of pet food from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in one of two locations.

Collections will be in front of the Loyal Companion pet supply store in Mill Creek and across the street from Hannaford in Mill Creek Park. Look for the SoPoDog banners and the ambassador dogs, who will be on hand to thank you and wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

According to a Nov. 15 SoPoDog news release, “All dog owners know that it isn’t just turkeys who like to gobble – our pets do, too. All donations gratefully accepted. And don’t forget the felines – SoPoDog does not discriminate.”

Those interested in helping to staff the tables, package food into smaller bags for the food cupboard, or in having your well-behaved dog act as an ambassador, should email [email protected]

WHAT: Barksgiving Holiday Pet Food Drive

WHERE: Two locations

· Loyal Companion at Mill Creek

· Mill Creek Park across from Hannaford on Cottage Road

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information: Ellen Clancy 207-808-3431

Church schedules wreath sale

First Congregational Church in South Portland is hosting a wreath sale.

Due to the pandemic, the church was unable to hold its holiday sale. The church is located at 301 Cottage Road with pick-up scheduled for the Sawyer Street lot.

The cost is $20 for a wreath with a bow, or $25 for bow and decorations. Orders are due by Nov. 30.

To order, text 207-318-1605, Lynne Lanctot, or email [email protected] Payment of cash or check at time of pick-up. Make checks payable to FCCUCC with “Wreath” on the comment line.

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