I was overwhelmed and saddened to read the story in the July 24 Telegram about the family living in a van at the Kennebunk rest area. At age 82, I sit in my 960-square-foot air-conditioned condo, safe and secure. I am grateful and thankful for all of my blessings. Our world is in crisis, financially, environmentally, emotionally, combating a pandemic, homelessness, wars, violence with guns, words and actions around the world. I feel helpless and hopeless sometimes.

I then ask myself: What can I do to make a difference in my life and others?

Neither aging nor the world chaos have affected my desire to get out there and make a difference in small and meaningful ways. Reaching out and making myself vulnerable and exposed to help others keeps me active and energetic.

In 2005, I left a 43-year abusive marriage at 65. Since then, I have become dedicated and committed to the work of Finding Our Voices (findingourvoices.net), a Maine-based nonprofit dedicated to “breaking the silence, stigma and cycle of domestic abuse in our state and empowering women and children to get safe and stay safe.”

We each face these challenging times in different ways. We can make choices to do nothing and wait for someone else to carry the torch, or to get out there and do our small and important part to make a difference.

Mary Louise Liucci-Smith

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