As we continue to experience loss, grief, anger and many other reactions to the Oct. 25 mass shooting in Lewiston, I am torn between wanting to hold my colleagues and everyone in the Lewiston community in a comforting hug and feeling compelled to act. And many in our community have reached out with action items for me, especially advocating for gun safety legislation, and with questions about how they can help.

Anne Carney

It’s important that our community and state work together on responding to this tragedy, and I’m grateful that so many of you want to get involved. You all are inspiring examples of what we all love about Maine, and I’ll use this column to share some resources.

Here are some steps you can take to be part of the response. Several Maine organizations have set up dedicated funds to help Lewiston and the other impacted communities, and I encourage those interested in donating to explore them.

The Maine Community Foundation has a Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Fund, and the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is collecting donations that will go toward organizations responding to the tragedy and supporting EMS workers. The city of Lewiston and Androscoggin Bank created the City of Lewiston Support Fund which is actively accepting donations online as well as in person at Androscoggin Bank locations.

Groups like Maine International Warm Line (1-866-771-9276), FrontLine WarmLine (207-221-8196), and 9-8-8 are all resources focused on guiding people and communities through the hardships we may be experiencing. The hotlines are staffed and prepared to aid individuals through these hardships, from first responders and family of the victims to community members feeling weighed down with grief.

I encourage everyone to continue reaching out to me and sharing your ideas. Last year, I passed legislation increasing the penalties for those who make hoax calls to law enforcement regarding acts of violence as well as legislation that makes it a crime to knowingly sell or give a firearm to someone who is prohibited from possessing one. I will continue to listen to your concerns and voice them in Augusta.


If you would like to learn more about advocating for gun safety legislation, the Maine Gun Safety Coalition is a nonprofit organization that advocates for evidence-based gun safety legislation at state and federal levels. It collaborates with law enforcement, health care providers, gun owners and Maine residents in a myriad of ways and can help you participate in the legislative process. The coalition accepts donations as well as assists volunteers in hosting events in a wide range of places, from your own backyard, schools or community events.

We are all mourning and grieving at different rates. What comes next is up to each of us and what type of community, state and nation we want to be. We cannot forget we are collectively working to create a safe, healthy and affirming environment for the next generations. This is not an easy time for any of us, but we can grieve, learn and move forward from this together.

Anne Carney represents Maine Senate District 29, which consists of Cape Elizabeth, South Portland and part of Scarborough. She can be reached at 207-287-1515 or


Comments are not available on this story.